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China outraged after FB translates China's leader name to 'Mr. Shithole'

Updated: Dec 25, 2020

Accordingto FB, Xi Jinping translates to 'Mr. Shithole'. (Reuters) Facebook said on Saturday it was working to find out how Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s name appeared as “Mr Shithole” in posts on its platform when translated into English from Burmese, apologizing China and the Chinese leader for any offense caused and saying the problem had been fixed. The error came to light on the second day of a visit by the president to the Southeast Asian country, where Xi and state counselor 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”.

China is Facebook’s biggest country for revenue after the United States, and the tech company is setting up a new engineering team to focus specifically on the lucrative advertising business there, Reuters reported last week. The desire by Chinese companies and other entities to get in front of people internationally has unexpectedly turned China into one of Facebook’s largest sources of advertising revenue, even though the social network itself is not available in the country. This prompts Chinese companies to pump tens of billions of dollars into FB ads in order to get exposure in international markets.

Xi Jinping, AKA Mr. Shithole, meets with Mark Zuckerberg in China.

“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,” a FB spokesperson for said in a statement. “This issue is not a reflection of the way our products should work and we sincerely apologize for the offence this has caused.” On social media the nickname Mr. Shithole already caught on, with the hashtag #MrShithole trending on Twitter.




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