Facebook ‘Error’ Translated Xi Jinping’s Name to ‘Mr. Sh*hole’

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the podium during the unveiling of the Communist Party's new Politburo Standing Committee at the Great Hall of the People on October 25, 2017 in Beijing, China. China's ruling Communist Party today revealed the new Politburo Standing Committee after its 19th congress. (Photo by …
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Social media giant Facebook has apologized for an “error” that incorrectly translated Chinese dictator Xi Jinping’s name to mean “Mr. Shithole.”

Business Insider reports that social media giant Facebook apologized on Saturday for a mistranslation of Chinese dictator Xi Jinping’s name to “Mr. Shithole” in posts on the site translated from Burmese to English. The mistranslation was reportedly first noticed in a post by Myanmar’s State Counselor Office page which discussed a meeting between Aung San Suu Kyi and Xi.

When the post by the State Counselor Office page was translated from Burmese to English, it referred to Xi as “Mr. Shithole” multiple times. Reuters Myanmar bureau chief Poppy McPherson noted this in a tweet:

At the time, Reuters reported that the Google translation of the post did not return the same error. Facebook has since apologized for the issue calling it a “technical error.” The company told Reuters in a statement:

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 reportedly did not have Xi Jinping’s name in its database which resulted in Facebook’s translation system attempting to guess what the Chinese leader’s name may translate to in English. Similar tests performed in Burmese on words that begin with “xi” and “shi” also produced the English translation of “shithole.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com


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