In the last week, Saudi social media users experienced an error while sharing videos of translation. Microsoft’s search engine Bing mistakenly translated the word “Daesh” as “Saudi Arabia”. This is a term that refers to a fundamentalist group and therefore sparked controversy among the Saudi social media users.
The angry response of the users on social media forced the Microsoft team to apologize for the error that ignited the tension. The team said the error was unintentional and their product team fixed the error in the automated translation within a short time of learning about it.
The social media users expressed their anger on Twitter asking for a boycott under the hash tag “Microsoft insults Saudi”. This campaign went viral arousing more tensions among the global users.
Dr. Mamdouh Najjar, head of Microsoft in Saudi Arabia, apologized through his Twitter account,
“As an employee of this company, I personally apologies to the people of great Saudi Arabia, which is a country very close to our hearts, for the unintentional error”.
To the Huffington Post’s to Arabic edition, he explained that the error occurred due to Bing’s crowdsourcing function.