On Friday 22nd of February, it was noticed that there was a glitch with the Google conversion onebox as it was showing a wrong conversion rate for the dollar to Nigerian Naira currency. The accompanying graphical presentation was however correct but the text totally wrong.
This error quickly went viral and caused quite a stir on twitter. This is particularly because of the timing of this glitch in the country, a few how’s to the presidential elections. Here are some reactions:
A surprising flaw from @Google providing a wrong exchange rate between the US Dollar and Nigerian Naira. However my curiosity is in appreciating how the algorithm got flawed from the backend and a lesson to folks trusting the “google search” completely ? pic.twitter.com/QfKWGTBKDR
— Robert Ebere (@robert_ebere) February 22, 2019
1 dollar equals 184 naira…. How did this happen overnight pic.twitter.com/yPPwg7cqBl
— Otunba Sweet Boy ™ (@_Dr90210) February 22, 2019
Some however believed that this has a political tone to it, as it happened just a few hours to the elections.
1 Dollar changed to 184 Naira in my country, on Google, a day before the general elections…and abokifx suddenly crashed. ? https://t.co/4YJ9eQNC6o
— Fisayo Fosudo ?? (@Fosudo) February 22, 2019
As a result, a favourite Nigerian currency exchange site, Abokifx.com, crashed for a while presumably due to traffic to confirm this exchange rate. (The site is now back up).
Google has since released a statement on twitter, acknowledging this glitch: “We’re aware of an issue causing inaccurate conversions for Nigerian Naira currency, so we will remove the conversion onebox from appearing in search results until we are able to diagnose the issue”
We’re aware of an issue causing inaccurate conversions for Nigerian Naira currency, so we will remove the conversion onebox from appearing in search results until we are able to diagnose the issue.
— Google in Africa (@googleafrica) February 22, 2019
This error has since been fixed and the Google conversion onebox now shows the correct conversion rate.