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Twitter Goes Hebrew - with a Mosque

Twitter has a new Hebrew support system, but one of its welcome pages shows a mosque – and only a mosque.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 3/11/2012, 2:25 PM

Twitter welcome page: a mosque
Twitter welcome page: a mosque
Israel screenshot of official Twitter site

Twitter has a new Hebrew support system, but one of its international welcome pages shows a mosque – and only a mosque.

The welcome site on all languages, as of Sunday, rotates with two other pictures, both of them non-descript scenes, one of city lights and the other a depiction of someone taking a picture of a rock concert.

The site, with a huge mosque in the background and another mosque to the left, shows three young men, apparently playing ball.

A Twitter official said that Hebrew speakers are part of the company’s plan to bring Twitter to every one in the world. Twitter has added Hebrew, as well as Arabic and Farsi, to its language support, bringing to 28 the number of languages in which it delivers service.

Although it previously was possible to Twit in Hebrew, there now are Hebrew menus and it is one of the welcome pages in Hebrew that shows the background of a mosque – and only a mosque, without a synagogue or any other symbol of Judaism.

Globes notes that a previous amusing translation for the word “retweet”, enabling an existing Tweet to be resent, came out in Hebrew as "User X tweeted you again.”

Hebrew usage of Twitter jumped by 150 percent last year, compared with 2010, but as of last October, Hebrew tweets accounted only for 0.1 percent of all public tweets in Israel, where Israelis apparently prefer to use English.