Apple’s automated assistant used information from hacked Wikipedia page on Israel’s president.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Social media erupted late Saturday night after Apple’s automated assistant told iPhone users that Reuven Rivlin was the president of “the Zionist Occupation State.”
The anti-Israel answer was apparently taken from the president’s Wikipedia page, which had been changed by a user called “Arab Man.” The anonymous hacker also had time to use his poor English to call Rivlin “the main child of Israel.”
Siri, as the computerized assistant is called, gives users information from publicly available sources, and the free online encyclopedia is a widely used resource.
However, as a project dependent on volunteers, Wikipedia articles can be written by anyone and can be edited freely by almost anyone. But there are guidelines for contributors, which include citing verifiable sources and banning the use of hoaxes and incorrect information. It took several minutes on Saturday for the administrators to make the necessary corrections.
The news spread very quickly however, and several indignant people posted about getting the same answer, with many blaming Apple for the problem.
“Apple HACKED!” tweeted one user called StopAntisemites.
Another made a video of the exchange, adding, “Here’s a video of me asking Siri about who is president of my homeland Israel. Wow just wow, APPLE!”
Yet a third tagged the conglomerate on Twitter and asked, “care to explain?”
Not all users were upset with the answer, however.
“When #Siri gets it right…everyone’s upset lol,” tweeted one man with an American flag and Canadian maple leaf icons. “#ZionistOccupationState Hopefully Siri also remembers #Netanyahu is a terrorist.”
As of this writing, Apple hasn’t yet issued a response.