Facebook sorry for suggesting child sex videos in search


On Friday, Facebook released a statement asking for an apology following the appearance of offensive terms in the search predictions of the social network that were discovered on late Thursday.

When the users typed “videos of” into the search bar, Facebook prompted the user to search phrases that include “videos of girl sucking dick underwater,” “videos of sexuals,” and, perhaps the most disturbing of them all, “video of little girl giving oral.”

Shocked users reported the said problem on Twitter, posting several screenshots of the search terms, which also included many suggestions that are relating to the school shooting that happened in Florida last month. The social network seemed to have fixed the said problem by Friday morning.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Facebook said: “We’re very sorry this happened.

“As soon as we became aware of these offensive predictions we removed them.”

The spokesperson added that Facebook is investigating why such phrases appeared in the search suggestions and are currently working to improve the quality of the search suggestions that are provided to the users.

He stated: “Facebook search predictions are representative of what people may be searching for on Facebook and are not necessarily reflective of actual content on the platform.

“We do not allow sexually explicit imagery, and we are committed to keeping such content off of our site.”

The search suggestions typically tend to rely on algorithms that pick up on what is generally popular or trending among people who are using the service and makes suggestions accordingly. Facebook is nor the only company to have experienced autocomplete. In 2016, Google had the company’s own issues with prompting some users to search for offensive questions regarding women and Jews.

Facebook continues to be insistent that it is not a platform for sexual content. However, the company also came under fire a few weeks ago for a survey that was sent out to some of its users asking if they believe that it was appropriate for adult men to ask kids for explicit photos of themselves via Messenger. The company has since issued an apology and said that it had never and would never allow and approve of child grooming on the site.