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Facebook Apologizes for Auto-Translation That Insulted Thai Monarchy

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Facebook on Thursday formally apologized to Thailand and news network ThaiPBS after its generally awful automatic translation function turned English text into words insulting the monarchy.

In a statement, Facebook offered a “sincere apology” for the offensive wording that appeared on ThaiPBS’s Facebook page when its auto-translator butchered the Thai translation of the English captions of the network’s livestream of the candle-lighting ceremony for HM the King’s birthday.

Screenshots of the disrespectful and insulting description of His Majesty went viral before Facebook shut down its automatic translation service at 6:55 p.m.

Some Thais had blamed ThaiPBS for the wording, not realizing Facebook’s braindead system was behind it.

ThaiPBS management met with Facebook representatives on Wednesday. The explained the system was completely a technical error and that no one had hacked the translation engine to insult the monarchy.

It’s not the first time Facebook’s ghastly translation engine has had to be shut down in a hurry. In January, Facebook had to apologize to China after a “technical error” mistranslated Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s name into “Mr Shithole” in posts translated into English from Burmese.