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Friday, 12 April 2024 11:33

Apple responds to outrage over emoji that appears when typing 'Jerusalem' on iPhone.

Tech Reporter.

Apple on Thursday promised it would stop a Palestinian flag emoji from being suggested to some iPhone users when they type "Jerusalem" in messages.

The Silicon Valley tech titan blamed a software bug for the prompt, which sparked accusations Apple was showing anti-Israel bias amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Apple says that the predictive emoji suggestion in the iPhone keyboard was not intentional and would be fixed in the next update to its mobile operating system.

The quirk was pointed out on social media by British television presenter Rachel Riley, renewing debate over whether Israel or Palestinians have rightful claim to Jerusalem as their capital.

"When I type the capital of Israel, Jerusalem, I'm offered the Palestinian flag emoji," Riley wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter, calling on Apple to explain.

She pointed out no flag emojis were suggested when an array of other capital cities were typed into iPhone messages.

"Showing double standards with respect to Israel is a form of antisemitism, which is itself a form of racism against Jewish people," Riley contended in the post.

She said the Palestinian flag emoji began popping up in connection with Jerusalem after a recent update of the iPhone operating system.

Riley signed her post "a Jewish woman concerned about the global rise in antisemitism."

This is not the first time a big tech company has found itself embroiled in the bitter dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.

Last year rival tech giant Meta had to apologise after a bug resulted in it adding "terrorist" to the biographies of some Instagram users describing themselves as Palestinian.

Meta said it fixed a problem "that briefly caused inappropriate Arabic translations" in some of its products.