back to article Facebook system messages subverted by French pranksters

Facebook's attempts to crowd-source translations of system messages have been abused by French pranksters. The French language equivalent of Report/Block this person (Signaler/bloquer cette personne) offers a strange option for reasons why a surfer might want to have nothing to do with another Facebook member. alt text …


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  1. Tom 15


    "Hopefully this isn't a real vulnerability in their site that could allow someone to enter in arbitrary JavaScript or HTML code that could be malicious."

    Yeah... hopefully... seems a bit of a weird thing to say.

    1. Tatsky

      I Agree

      That seemed like a hell of a leap. System allows users to suggest translations of a piece of text. Oh no, the haxors are going to use this to launch some kind of malicious attack on the site..... oh hang about, it's just plain old text.

      No one tell this guy that Google allow users to type queries into a text box on their home page. Oh no, SQL injection attacks imminent!

  2. ChrisF18

    Obviously a small fledgling startup like Facebook...

    can't afford translators?

    1. Ef'd

      Why pay for translators?

      This technology works often enough well enough that there's no point in hiring translators. Sure it's subject to trolling attempts - when there's a large enough group to actually dedicate to the task. But it's also easily fixed.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Cameron Colley

    Just how it's supposed to work.

    There's a reason that nobody from Facebook checks on these things -- that would cost money.

    The whole point of Facebook is to keep advertising revenue above hosting costs while the "users" behave as unpaid content creators. Well, that and massaging the Arsehole Zuckerberg's ego.

  5. Fluffykins Silver badge

    One word:


  6. David Dawson

    Its not that bad.

    They're all voted on, so only the funny survive.

    The comedians will inherit

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Why pay...

    when you can get it done for nothing, of course you sometimes get what you pay for.

    Of course, the french easily surrender to there funny side and have a bit of a lark about.

    Mines the one with no onions....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Learning how to spell before making linguistic jokes

    "En discution instantané, Le petit frère de Dylan Zéroosiix m’a insulter"

    Should be:

    "En discussion instantanée, le petit frère de Dylan Zéroosiix m'a insulté"

    Only 3 mistakes in a line, which these days is largely adequate to access higher education.

  9. alien anthropologist


    ..but someone has to say it:

    My Hovercraft is Full of Eels.

    1. Chris Harden


      To the person who downvoted a Monty Python quote:

      Do you want to come back to my place, bouncy bouncy? You great poof.

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        my nipples explode with delight!

        Right, stop that, this is far too silly!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mark Zuckerberg is the cheapeast man on the planet

    He's "earned" billions of dollars and he won't even pay a translator to check this stuff over?

    What a tight wad!

    This is the only reason you need not to "invest" in Facebook. How much would it possibly cost to translate the site into x languages. Let's come up with a wildly inflated super-liberal figure like £70k.

    Now remember that Facebook has *cough* lie *cough* half a billion users and try to remember that some of them appreciate not being patronised with dodgy translations.

    Is it worth the 0.014 British pennies per user to do the translations properly? Not if your name is Mark Zuckerberg! He's cheaper than Bill Gates' haircut!

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Wisdom of Crowds?

    The people who should really take note of this are potential investors in Facebook.

    Do they not realise that the quality of the marketing data in Facebook is of the same level of quality as these crowd-sourced translations?

    It was previously said that "on the internet, nobody knows you are a dog", but I know two dogs who have their own Facebook accounts, complete with canine profile photos. Even more wierdly, I know two hats which have their own Facebook accounts.

    The wisdom of the crowd turns out to be to subvert the system at any available opportunity.

  12. Graham Marsden

    Crowdsourcing = "Doing it on the cheap"

    And when you pay peanuts...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    facebook users are not human then?

  14. Bilgepipe

    The title is unimportant, and yet must contain letters and/or digits.

    "It is scary that Facebook believes in openness so much that they will let the users control their website without any human oversight from Facebook,"

    "Oversight from Facebook" would entail someone who could speak the language in question, which would negate the need for this cost-cutting "crowd-translation" thing and would reduce the torrent of theoretical dollars pouring into Zuckerberk's bank account.

  15. breakfast Silver badge

    Lucky escape

    I'm glad to say I've avoided any such problems by having "English (pirate)" as my default language.

    I have no idea what is going on half the time, but at least I know there are no ridiculous comments dropped into my pages, just good old fashioned deck swabbin' and flag hoistin'.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The chain remains unbroken

    Faceplant continues it's entertainment with daily scandal.

    When will faceplant law of numerous #uckups and BS finally be broken?

    Maybe around the time Moore's law finally fails.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    And the joke that is Facebook goes on daily without a break.

    Bravo Faceplant, just keep on messing up, the entertainment value hasn't yet worn off.

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