TEL AVIV (Agencies): Israel’s killing of Palestinians in Gaza through its AI targeting system has been aided by Meta’s WhatsApp messaging platform, reports have further revealed.

Earlier this month, reports revealed that Israel is using an artificial intelligence-aided system called ‘Lavender’ to identify suspected militants in the Gaza Strip before targeting and striking them, processing as many as 37,000 Palestinians within that scope.

Rather than just acting as a simple targeting mechanism, the system has a deliberate high civilian casualty rate, with Israeli military and intelligence sources admitting that they strike targets even when they are present in their homes with their entire families. As one source said at the time, the occupation forces “bombed them in homes without hesitation, as a first option. It’s much easier to bomb a family’s home. The system is built to look for them in these situations”.

According to software engineer and blogger, Paul Biggar, however, one key detail on the methods employed by the Lavender system that is often overlooked is the involvement of the messaging platform, WhatsApp. A major determining factor of the system’s identification is simply if an individual is in a WhatsApp group containing another suspected militant.

Aside from the inaccuracy of the method and the moral question of targeting Palestinians based on shared WhatsApp groups or social media connections, there is also notably the doubt it brings to the platform being privacy-based and guaranteeing “end-to-end” encryption for messages.

Stating that WhatsApp’s parent company, Meta, makes it complicit in Israel’s killing of “pre-crime” suspects in Gaza, Biggar accused the company of directly violating international humanitarian law, as well as its own public commitment to human rights.

These revelations are the latest evidence of Meta – formerly Facebook – aiding in the suppression of Palestinian and pro-Palestinian voices, with the platform long having been criticised for taking significant steps to shut down dissent against Israeli and Zionist narratives. Those measures have included permitting adverts promoting a holocaust against Palestinians and even attempting to flag the word ‘Zionist’ as hate speech.

Meta’s apparent sharing of WhatsApp users’ data and private messages to the Israeli military and its AI targeting systems reveal a whole other level of collaboration, however, potentially making it directly complicit in the ongoing Israeli genocide of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »