Apple to address ‘bug’ recommending Palestinian flag emoji

Apple has addressed a “bug” that prompts an emoji for the Palestinian flag when certain iPhone users type “Jerusalem” in messages, attributing it to a software issue in the latest update of its iOS operating system.

The company clarified that this was unintentional. Not all users experienced this suggestion, as those in the United States reported not encountering it. British television presenter Rachel Riley highlighted this emoji suggestion on social media, reigniting a longstanding debate over the status of Jerusalem.

Palestinian leaders regard occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Riley noted that her updated mobile operating system suggested using the Palestinian flag “when I type the capital of Israel, Jerusalem,” expressing concerns about potential double standards and antisemitism. She called on Apple to clarify if the issue was intentional or the result of rogue programmers.

The international community, including the United Nations, views Jerusalem as effectively two cities, with East Jerusalem, including the Old City, considered part of the West Bank, recognized as Palestinian territory under international law. Calls for official recognition of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital based on 1967 borders, have intensified amid the escalating death toll in Israel’s conflict with Gaza.

Apple has previously faced controversy related to global affairs and territorial integrity, such as designating Crimea as part of Russia in Apple Maps in 2019, drawing criticism. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Apple Maps reverted Crimea’s status to Ukraine for users outside of Russia.

Since the onset of the Gaza conflict, pro-Palestinian users have encountered various online restrictions by technology giants, including censorship and shadowbanning.

Related Articles

Back to top button