The company sent an email inviting interns to a party, using a cringy version of how kids today speak, then issued an apology within hours of the invites going viral on social networks.
In the gamut of things Microsoft has had to apologize for lately, including a racist chatbot and sexy dancers, this might be one of the strangest: The company sent an email inviting interns to a party that begins: “Hey Bae Intern! <3’‘ and gets worse from there, offering “lots of dranks’‘ and the ability to “get lit on a Monday night.’‘
If that’s not alluring enough to the young folk, there’s also the promise of beer pong and “hella noms” (If you’re over 40, try www.urbandictionary.com to translate).
Since taking over as chief executive officer in 2014, Satya Nadella has been working to update and revitalize Microsoft for the new generation of computing, but this may not be exactly what he had in mind.
The company issued an apology within hours of the invites going viral on social networks, noting that “the email was poorly worded and not in keeping with our values as a company.” The statement promised an investigation into what happened and appropriate steps to address it.
As it reaches middle age, the software maker — founded in 1975 — wants to make sure it can still appeal to and recruit from the Snapchat generation, but its efforts sometimes miss the mark. Microsoft’s last attempt to target this demographic, the Tay chatbot, also forced an apology in March after internet denizens hijacked it, teaching it to spew racist, sexist and offensive remarks. That same month Microsoft also apologized after an Xbox party that featured go-go dancers on podiums.
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It’s not clear whether the email will help Microsoft get recruits to the event, a multi-company shindig in San Francisco called “Internapalooza.” But if they do show up, perhaps they can be put to work programming Skype Translator to produce a less cringy version of how kids today speak.
In the meantime, maybe Microsoft shouldn’t use the word “bae” in corporate correspondence. “OK Bae?’‘