False Flag: Social media erupts over Apple's predictive text Palestine blunder

Posted:
in iOS edited April 10

Apple's predictive text system has prompted claims of antisemitism against the iPhone maker, by serving the Palestinian flag after users type in Jerusalem.

An example of the Palestinian flag showing as a predictive text suggestion for Jerusalem in iMessage
An example of the Palestinian flag showing as a predictive text suggestion for Jerusalem in iMessage



Apple's latest software update to iOS 17, bringing it to iOS 17.4.1, has seemingly introduced a change to the autocorrect system. A change that some social media users are using to criticize the company with allegations of antisemitism.

For some users of iOS, typing in Jerusalem brings up the Palestinian flag as an optional emoji to add in iMessage. The problem isn't limited to the predictive text system, as searching for the city under the emoji search comes up with the same result.

While AppleInsider was able to confirm the flag appears, it also doesn't appear for all users. For example, while it appears when using iOS under UK English dictionaries, it doesn't appear when used under US English.

Apple also isn't the only company to have allowed the mistake to occur, as the Jewish Chronicle explains that Google's keyboard for Android also shows the flag when the capital of Israel is typed out.

Due to Apple's extensive use of machine learning and analyzing texts from millions of users, it's possible that the prediction system made the connection between the text string and the emoji on its own.

Social fury



Since the issue's discovery, Apple has since become the target of social media posts, condemning the company for a mistake probably caused more from machine learning than from malice.

Prominent campaigner and UK TV personality Rachel Riley took to X to call out Apple on the issue. She points out that there are many other capital cities that don't offer national flags.

"Showing double standards with respect to Israel is a form of antisemitism, which is itself a form of racism against Jewish people," Riley complains. She then goes on to demand Apple Support and CEO Tim Cook explain "whether this is an intentional act by your company or whether you have no control over rogue programmers."

Apple has told us that the substitution is a bug and will be patched in the next iOS update. No timetable for the fix was given.

The new social media storm is the latest complaint Apple has to deal with in connection to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

After employees urged leadership to do more for the Palestinian community on April 2, a protest was held on April 6 at the Lincoln Park Apple Store. The protest was held due to managerial policies banning employees from wearing pro-Palestine accessories, which led to the firing of one member of staff.

Update April 10, 2:20 PM Updated with remarks from Apple.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    Rachel Riley is a hypocrite anyway and needs to shut up.
    iOS_Guy809secondkox2watto_cobrakrusher
  • Reply 2 of 18
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,129member
    Yup, that's how predictive text works - if a lot of users are typing Jerusalem and a flag of Palestine that will come up for others.
    auxiotimpetusiOS_Guy80appleinsideruser9secondkox2Alex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    Anilu_777Anilu_777 Posts: 560member
    If people type about the conflict in the Muddle East or in Europe the predictive text will learn the emoji and text that they use and start to ‘help’ the user with predictions. It’s not hard and not an issue until someone on social media makes it one. 
    timpetusiOS_Guy80Alex1N9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    One hour after this was posted, I tried it and no flag came up!  Apple must have fixed it, thankfully!
    9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 18
    neilmneilm Posts: 989member
    'She then goes on to demand Apple Support and CEO Tim Cook explain "whether this is an intentional act by your company or whether you have no control over rogue programmers."'

    One of those 'When did you stop beating your wife' questions.
    aestivaliOS_Guy80retrogustoappleinsideruser9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,464member
    That nonsense has to stop. I am tired of people pretending that predictive text is somehow "intelligent" and should know better. It doesn't. It just looks at patterns. That's it.
      
    I am tired of those people who let feelings take over rationality and understanding. 


    aestivaliOS_Guy80retrogustoAlex1Nbonobob9secondkox2quakerotiswatto_cobrailarynx
  • Reply 7 of 18
    I'm tired of every slight against Israel, no matter how inadvertent or minor, immediately being seized upon by rage farmers as an example of antisemitism. Clearly the choices should include the Israeli flag, hopefully this gets fixed.
    retrogustoAlex1N9secondkox2Alex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,385member
    SGilbert said:
    One hour after this was posted, I tried it and no flag came up!  Apple must have fixed it, thankfully!

    Thankfully? Were you shaking in fear and rage at seeing a Palestinian flag? Why are you so thankful? Who did this hurt, beyond the fake and predictable outrage and insane attacks of "anti-semitism" which these days seem to cover literally anything that extremist Israeli shills and propagandists disagree with? How often do you type "Jerusalem"? God forbid you see a flag which acknowledges the existence of a population which has been brutalized, occupied, besieged, and massacred for decades. Don't worry, you'll survive the tiny digital flag. Type in Israel or Tel Aviv if you're yearning for an Israeli flag. It will be ok. 
    edited April 10 godofbiscuitssfAlex1Nmuthuk_vanalingamappleexpat9secondkox2Alex_Vwatto_cobrailarynxkrusher
  • Reply 9 of 18
    SGilbert said:
    One hour after this was posted, I tried it and no flag came up!  Apple must have fixed it, thankfully!

    Poor you. It's not universally accepted by the international community that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.  Palestine claims East Jerusalem as its capital.  

    After all the humorous and legendary fails of autocorrect that make it a cultural mark at this point, you're going to suddenly need a fainting couch over this one?
    Alex1N9secondkox2Alex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18

    aestival said:
    I'm tired of every slight against Israel, no matter how inadvertent or minor, immediately being seized upon by rage farmers as an example of antisemitism. Clearly the choices should include the Israeli flag, hopefully this gets fixed.

    Yes, autocorrect and its ducking "slights".
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 18
    Free Palestine 

    9secondkox2Alex_V
  • Reply 12 of 18
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,916member
    That’s no bug. Someone’s getting fired. for good reason. 

    Nearly equivalent to posting up a hoot of James early ray when Martin Luther king’s name is typed in if that were a fresh event. 
    edited April 11
  • Reply 13 of 18
    SGilbert said:
    One hour after this was posted, I tried it and no flag came up!  Apple must have fixed it, thankfully!
    No it’s still there, thankfully! 
    9secondkox2
  • Reply 14 of 18
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,385member
    That’s no bug. Someone’s getting fired. for good reason. 

    Nearly equivalent to posting up a hoot of James early ray when Martin Luther king’s name is typed in if that were a fresh event. 

    What an utterly fucked up analogy, devoid of all merit. How do people like you come up with this shit? 

    Let me guess, the words "Free Palestine" get you shaking in fear and rage too, and you see that as a genocidal statement, right? Because, the right and moral thing to do, is to keep millions of people under a brutal siege, walled in, while controlling their land, air, and see, without a shred of autonomy, and bombing at will, until the end of time. That's "peace" to you. 

    You must live in a world where Israel hasn't literally flattened Gaza and slaughtered 14,000+ children and starved the rest. Yep, the sheer horror of the Palestinian flag. 
    muthuk_vanalingam9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 18
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,916member
    slurpy said:
    That’s no bug. Someone’s getting fired. for good reason. 

    Nearly equivalent to posting up a hoot of James early ray when Martin Luther king’s name is typed in if that were a fresh event. 

    What an utterly fucked up analogy, devoid of all merit. How do people like you come up with this shit? 

    Let me guess, the words "Free Palestine" get you shaking in fear and rage too, and you see that as a genocidal statement, right? Because, the right and moral thing to do, is to keep millions of people under a brutal siege, walled in, while controlling their land, air, and see, without a shred of autonomy, and bombing at will, until the end of time. That's "peace" to you. 

    You must live in a world where Israel hasn't literally flattened Gaza and slaughtered 14,000+ children and starved the rest. Yep, the sheer horror of the Palestinian flag. 
    LOL. Sad. 

    It’s the same logic. Israeli’s have been the victim of Hamas’ terrorism and murderous actions for a very long time. Oct. 7 was just the latest and one we have tons of gruesome footage of since the degenerates thought it would be cool to film their atrocities. 

    The words “free Palestine” do indeed cause a sense of disappointment in people who refuse to learn history or even pay attention to logic, such as a governments right to root out the cause of so much evil. “Free Palestine” isn’t a bad phrase. It’s simply misdirected. It need not be shouted at Israel, the U.S., or anyone other than Hamas, which just so happens to made up of… Palestinians. The irony. Sadly, most Palestinians align with Hamas. Even in the USA, in Michigan, we hear chants of death to Israel and death to America. That’s not ok. That sounds a lot like a threat to this country and our friend Israel. “Gree Israel” is a better slogan and more appropriate. How many Israeli’s are still being held captive, assaulted, and who knows what else? They even took babies for crying out loud. Then posted the video footage. Beyond that, Israel should be free from the constant threats, attacks, and kidnappings that are constantly sourced from “Palestine.” 

    Israel is doing what’s necessary to protect its people from further unspeakable harm - and hopefully rescue the remaining hostages along the way. 

    Israel was so kind as to provide land to Egyptian squatters and they turn around and do this. “Free Palestine…” what an ironic joke that is.  

    Imagine you live in a city with your family and pets. Then some things from a neighboring city drive up, break into your house, kill your pets and some of your family, kidnap the rest, do unspeakable things to them, and the cops from your city take up the cause to go after them, only to hear “free [neighboring city!” Being chanted instead of support for those carrying out justice and attempting to rescue your family. That’s what happening here but at a larger scale. 
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 16 of 18
    slurpy said:
    That’s no bug. Someone’s getting fired. for good reason. 

    Nearly equivalent to posting up a hoot of James early ray when Martin Luther king’s name is typed in if that were a fresh event. 

    What an utterly fucked up analogy, devoid of all merit. How do people like you come up with this shit? 

    Let me guess, the words "Free Palestine" get you shaking in fear and rage too, and you see that as a genocidal statement, right? Because, the right and moral thing to do, is to keep millions of people under a brutal siege, walled in, while controlling their land, air, and see, without a shred of autonomy, and bombing at will, until the end of time. That's "peace" to you. 

    You must live in a world where Israel hasn't literally flattened Gaza and slaughtered 14,000+ children and starved the rest. Yep, the sheer horror of the Palestinian flag. 
    LOL. Sad. 

    It’s the same logic. Israeli’s have been the victim of Hamas’ terrorism and murderous actions for a very long time. Oct. 7 was just the latest and one we have tons of gruesome footage of since the degenerates thought it would be cool to film their atrocities. 

    The words “free Palestine” do indeed cause a sense of disappointment in people who refuse to learn history or even pay attention to logic, such as a governments right to root out the cause of so much evil. “Free Palestine” isn’t a bad phrase. It’s simply misdirected. It need not be shouted at Israel, the U.S., or anyone other than Hamas, which just so happens to made up of… Palestinians. The irony. Sadly, most Palestinians align with Hamas. Even in the USA, in Michigan, we hear chants of death to Israel and death to America. That’s not ok. That sounds a lot like a threat to this country and our friend Israel. “Gree Israel” is a better slogan and more appropriate. How many Israeli’s are still being held captive, assaulted, and who knows what else? They even took babies for crying out loud. Then posted the video footage. Beyond that, Israel should be free from the constant threats, attacks, and kidnappings that are constantly sourced from “Palestine.” 

    Israel is doing what’s necessary to protect its people from further unspeakable harm - and hopefully rescue the remaining hostages along the way. 

    Israel was so kind as to provide land to Egyptian squatters and they turn around and do this. “Free Palestine…” what an ironic joke that is.  

    Imagine you live in a city with your family and pets. Then some things from a neighboring city drive up, break into your house, kill your pets and some of your family, kidnap the rest, do unspeakable things to them, and the cops from your city take up the cause to go after them, only to hear “free [neighboring city!” Being chanted instead of support for those carrying out justice and attempting to rescue your family. That’s what happening here but at a larger scale. 
    This didn't start on October 7th it started back in 1948 when European countries started deportation process sending them off on ships to Palestine.
    muthuk_vanalingamilarynx9secondkox2
  • Reply 17 of 18
    Capture the hot air from political commentators and use it as an energy source
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 18
    Prominent campaigner? Rachel Riley???? You mean prominent bigot and racist?
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