Facebook Glitch Translates Chinese President’s Name to ‘Mr Sh*thole’

Facebook has been forced to apologize after an unfortunate, but hilarious technical glitch led to a less-than-flattering translation of Chinese president Xi Jingping’s name. Facebook blamed the “technical error” for causing the issue when President Xi’s name was translated from English to Burmese.

The issue? Xi’s name was translated to “President Shithole.”


From a report on The Guardian:

The error came to light on the second day of a visit by the president to Myanmar, where Xi and state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi signed dozens of agreements covering massive Beijing-backed infrastructure plans. A statement about the visit published on Suu Kyi’s official Facebook page was littered with references to “Mr Shithole” when translated to English, while a headline in local news journal the Irrawaddy appeared as “Dinner honors president shithole”.

Once the issue came to light, the social networking site apologized for the issue.

“We fixed a technical issue that caused incorrect translations from Burmese to English on Facebook. This should not have happened and we are taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. We sincerely apologize for the offense this has caused,” Facebook said in a statement.

Because President Xi’s name was not in its Burmese database, the translation was a wild guess and it definitely missed the mark.

This is apparently not the first time that Facebook has had an issue translating to Burmese with a past issue translating a post advocating killing Muslims to “I shouldn’t have a rainbow in Myanmar.”

It seems appropriate to say that Facebook should really work on ironing out that technical issue.

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