Facebook: Netanyahu can keep operating a chat bot

Likud was asked to stop using the chat bot for polling, but can use it for other purposes, like spreading campaign messages.

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March 20, 2019 04:54
1 minute read.
PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu – if they go to trial, how will his corruption trials end?

PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu – if they go to trial, how will his corruption trials end?. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

 
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Facebook denied that they have asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop his use of a chat bot in its messenger platform.

Following a Channel 12 report that the social network told the Likud campaign that the bot – an automated system that chats with visitors to Netanyahu’s page – is unauthorized, a spokeswoman for Facebook in Israel said Monday night that there is no problem with using bots.
“Using bots is a known practice that does not violate the company’s policies,” she said.

In recent days, Facebook’s staff has contacted all political parties using their platform, including the Likud, about their policies.

Likud was asked to stop using the chat bot for polling, but can use it for other purposes, like spreading campaign messages and materials.
Facebook users who choose to chat with Netanyahu’s bot receive the message: “Hello, this is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the upcoming election, I need you more than ever. I’ll be happy to be in touch here on Facebook and send you personal messages, from me to you, sometimes.”

Among the messages the bot has sent in the past week is that Blue and White’s leaders supported the Iran nuclear deal – with a related video – and a link to “five amazing facts about this dangerous pair.”


Also on Monday, Facebook launched a tool meant to increase transparency in how campaigns use the network by limiting who can post political ads and providing access to all political ads in a given country.

Facebook has defined political ads as those advocating or opposing candidates in an election. Anyone posting such an ad will have to confirm his or her identity with Facebook by providing a government-issued ID. Non-Israelis will not be able to take out ads for or against Israeli candidates, and all political actors will have to go through this process to post the advertisements.

All political ads will feature a disclaimer with the name of the account that funded them.

Facebook will also make a searchable archive available of all advertisements ordered by political actors going back seven years.

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