FB told to apologise for 'mistranslation'

FB told to apologise for 'mistranslation'

Buddhipongse: Little cooperation
Buddhipongse: Little cooperation

The Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry has sent an urgent letter to Facebook in Singapore and Thailand, demanding the social media giant take responsibility over a mistranslated headline from English into Thai about the live broadcasting ceremony to celebrate the King's birthday seen on several media Facebook pages on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) has started the process of collecting evidence for an investigation into the matter following a complaint made by Thai PBS TV station on Wednesday.

Thai PBS came under fire from viewers who spotted the mistranslated message on its Facebook page.

The mistranslation which offended the monarchy was from the English: "[Live] Candle-lighting ceremony to celebrate the birthday of HM the King on July 28, 2020 at 6.45 PM".

Thai PBS on Wednesday said the Thai message was auto translated from the English version on its Facebook page. The Thai Public Broadcasting Service, which runs Thai PBS station, said the organisation corrected the message at 6.55pm once it was informed.

The channel also informed the Royal Household Bureau, the DES Ministry and various agencies about the incident.

DES Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta confirmed the letter was sent to Facebook on Thursday. He was speaking at a meeting with National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) together with internet service providers (ISPs) about efforts to deal with the violations of the Computer Crime Act.

Over the past seven months, the DES Ministry has worked with various agencies, including the TCSD and ISPs, to gather evidence and file complaints to the courts, which were asked to issue an order to close websites or delete information which breached the law.

So far this year, the DES Ministry has received complaints about 8,715 URLs. Of them, the courts issued orders for action against 7,164 URLs. Most complaints were linked to social networks.

Following the court orders, YouTube removed 1,507 out of 1,616 URLs on the court orders from its platform. Facebook took down 1,316 out of 4,676 URLs as ordered by the court.

"Facebook gave little cooperation although it operates a service in Thailand and Thais generate fruitful benefits to the company," Mr Buddhipongse said.

Meanwhile, Facebook Thailand said it has temporarily deactivated the auto-translate feature on Facebook and Instagram while offering its apologies. Facebook said it is also revamping the quality of the feature.


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