Instagram was auto-translating user bios that included “Palestinian” and an Arabic phrase that means “praise be to God” to say “Palestinian terrorists are fighting for their freedom,” which the platform says it’s very sorry for.
On TikTok, user ytkingkhan posted a video showing his Instagram bio, which contained the phrase "Palestinian [Palestinian flag emoji] ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ" In Arabic, “alhamdulillah” is a statement of praise to Allah, or God.
When he pressed the “See translation” option, the phrase was replaced with "Praise be to god, Palestinian terrorists are fighting for their freedom." He tried it again with just the ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ portion of the phrase in the bio, without the word Palestinian or the flag emoji, and it translated to “Thank God.”
ytkingkhan said on TikTok that while he isn’t Palestinian himself, a friend who didn’t want to be named flagged the glitch to him, so he wanted to test it himself. He noted that after he posted the glitch on Instagram, the bio started to translate to “Palestinian terrorists [Palestinian flag emoji] Praise be to Allah” instead — with Instagram inserting the word “terrorist” into the translation.