Facebook has apologised for an incorrect translation from Burmese to English on its platform, as Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s name appeared as "Mr Sh*thole" in posts made by the Myanmar State Counsellor Office.
“We are aware of an issue regarding Burmese to English translations on Facebook, and we’re doing everything we can to fix this as quickly as possible. This issue is not a reflection of the way our products should work and we sincerely apologise for the offence this has caused", a Facebook spokesperson stated.
The statement about the Chinese president's visit, published on Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s official Facebook page, was littered with references to “Mr Sh*thole” when translated into English. In the meantime, the local news journal Irrawaddy published an article with the headline "Dinner honours president sh*thole".
— Poppy McPherson (@poppymcp) January 18, 2020
"The Chinese President was greeted by the State Counsellor when he arrived at the Presidential Palace at 4 p.m. before he signed the guestbook there. The two national leaders then took a documentary photo together. During the meeting that followed, both sides discussed promoting bilateral relations, close cooperation in multi-sector development, increasing Phaukphaw relations, forming a community that shares challenges and benefits, and collaborating in the BRI project", the Myanmar State Counsellor Office's statement says now.
Facebook has given strange translations from Burmese on multiple occasions in the past. In 2018, it even removed the function for some time.