Thai-English auto-translate down on Facebook due to “technical issues”

Photo by Solen Feyissa for Unsplash

Facebook’s Thai to English auto-translation feature on posts and comments has been taken down due to “technical issues,” the social media company’s communications manager for Thailand and Laos wrote in a statement to The Thaiger.

Some have pointed out that auto-translate displayed an incorrect and derogatory word for a post on a recent royal ceremony in Thailand. Facebook did not comment on what specifically prompted the social media company to take down the feature.

Facebook temporarily suspended the auto-translate feature from Thai to English while we resolve some technical issues. We will turn the auto-translate back on once these issues have been resolved.

The manager did not answer The Thaiger’s question on if the pause in the auto-translate feature was prompted by a complaint from the Thai government. The manager said there is no additional information to add at this time.

Although the translations aren’t always completely accurate, Facebook’s auto-translate feature has been usual for foreign residents, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic where government agencies, both national and provincial, continuously post information on Facebook on the Covid-19 situation as well as travel and disease control regulations.

Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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