South Africans being redirected to Arabic version of MSN

A number of South Africans have reported an issue when attempting to access the MSN home page.

Local users who attempt to navigate to the “www.msn.com” URL are automatically redirected to an Arabic version of the MSN homepage with the URL, “www.msn.com/ar-sa”.

The issue can be replicated using a number of browsers, but it is most noticable in Microsoft Edge, as this browser automatically sets “www.msn.com” as its home page.

It is unclear what is causing this issue, although it may be due to an internationalised domain name (IDN) conflict with the Saudi Arabian version of MSN, as its initials are the same as South Africa’s.

Internationalised domain names are formed using characters from different scripts which are encoded by the Unicode standard.

This may also be a different DNS issue or something else entirely, and MSN has not yet responded to users on social media who have reported the same problem.

The problem seems to be unique to South African users.

The easiest workaround for those who would like to access MSN or continue using it as their home page is to navigate to “www.msn.com/en-za” or set this specific URL as your home page.

This returns the correct South African version of the MSN website.

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South Africans being redirected to Arabic version of MSN