MANILA — Mandaue City, Cebu's public information office on Thursday asked Facebook to apologize and correct a mistranslation of its post regarding its tribute to former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III who passed away that day.
According to Mandaue City PIO, it wrote a Facebook post written in the Visayan language, saying it was lowering its Philippine flag to half-mast on Thursday, hours after the former state leader's demise was announced.
The caption, “Mandaue City nag half-mast, agi ug pagbangutan sa kamatayon ni kanhi presidente Noynoy Aquino” — which meant Mandaue City was lowering its Philippine flag to half-mast over Aquino's death.
However, Facebook auto-translated it into "Mandaue City is half-masturbating for the death of former President Noynoy Aquino."
The post went viral on social media platforms due to the wrong interpretation of Facebook's auto-translation settings.
"How this came to be is something entirely beyond us, we hope that it was just an unintended malfunction of one of its translation algorithms and not something intentional. It is sad and regrettable that an occasion done to mourn and honor the memory of a former president's passing has become viral for a totally different and obviously debasing reason," Mandaue City PIO said.
"We hope Facebook will take responsibility for this mistake and apologize to the sensitivities of the public, who only wanted to commiserate with Mandaue City in this time of grief."
Aquino, or "PNoy" as he was fondly called, died due to renal disease secondary to diabetes. He was 61.
He served as the 15th President of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016.