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20 Oct 2023

Josh Taylor, The Guardian

Instagram apologises for adding ‘terrorist’ to some Palestinian user profiles

Meta has apologised after inserting the word “terrorist” into the profile bios of some Palestinian Instagram users, in what the company says was a bug in auto-translation.

...The issue, which was first reported by 404media, affected users with the word “Palestinian” written in English on their profile, the Palestinian flag emoji and the word “alhamdulillah” written in Arabic. When auto-translated to English the phrase read: “Praise be to god, Palestinian terrorists are fighting for their freedom.”

After the first video, Instagram resolved the issue. The auto-translation now reads: “Thank God”. A spokesperson for Meta told Guardian Australia ...

Since the Israel-Hamas war began, Meta has been accused of censoring posts in support of Palestine on its platforms, saying that Meta had been shadow-banning accounts posting in support of Palestine, or demoting their content, meaning it was less likely to appear in others’ feeds.