Feeds

Turkish pranksters load Facebook Translate with swears

The rudeness of crowds

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Facebook's attempts to crowdsource translations have gone awry in Turkey.

A group of Turkish pranksters banded together to submit bogus translations so that a Facebook IM error message was rendered in Turkish as "Your message could not be sent because of your tiny penis". The correct version should say the message could not be delivered because the intended recipient was offline.

Miscreants abused the official Facebook Translate interface, a crowdsourcing method for improving the linguistic accuracy of the social network site, to vote up alternative and erroneous translation. The same process was used to subvert the Turkish translation for "like" into "fuck".

The linguistic larks were devised on the Inci Sözlük discussion forum, which sounds like Turkey's answer to 4chan.

Rik Ferguson, a security consultant at Trend Micro, reports that Facebook rolled back the unwanted translations on Wednesday. The Facebook Translate application was offline at around the same time for many languages, although it's unclear if this is related to the hijinks down by the Bosphorus.

It seems that the replacement translations were automatically applied without any human double checking. Ferguson concludes that there are lessons to be learned from Facebook's gaffe for other online services.

"Perhaps it is fortunate that the hole has been exposed through a prank in the first instance and not something more nefarious," Ferguson said.

"Any online service, whether it’s translation or reputation services, which solicits user generated content would be well advised to quality check that content before going live with it."

A blog post by Ferguson containing screenshots of the prank messages can be found here. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.