Meta has apologized for adding the word “terrorist” to the bios of some Instagram users, blaming the error on “inappropriate Arabic translations.”
The incident was first reported earlier this week by a TikTok user named Khan Man who shared a video showing his Instagram account.
“A lot of Palestinians at least that I personally know have a bio similar to this,” he said. The word “Palestinian,” the Palestinian flag, and the phrase “alhamdulillah” written in Arabic — “which, for my non-Arabic speakers or non-Muslims, it just means “praise be to God.’”
But when he clicked on Instagram’s “see translation” option, the platform translated the entire line to “Praise be to god, Palestinian terrorists are fighting for their freedom.”
He then changed his bio so it would only have the phrase “alhamdulillah” written in Arabic. Instagram translated it to “Thank God.”
In a later TikTok video, Khan Man said the error was fixed “almost immediately” after his initial post.
“This glitch was up for at least three hours,” he said. However, “to me, personally, the fact that it was up at all is just insane.”
Meta, Instagram’s parent company, didn’t immediately return a request for comment from the Daily News on Friday afternoon. In a statement to Gizmo, a company spokesperson said the social media giant “sincerely [apologized] that his happened.”
“We fixed a problem that briefly caused inappropriate Arabic translations in some of our products,” the spokesperson said.
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