Science

Facebook Apologizes for Pornographic Search Suggestions

Facebook Apologizes for Pornographic Search Suggestions

The social network's search suggestions, which are supposed to automatically offer the most popular search terms to users, apparently broke around 4am in the United Kingdom, and started to suggest unpleasant results for those who typed in "video of".

The social media giant has since come out and apologized for the error, and said that they are now investigating the matter.

Although Facebook definitely shoulders some of the blame when it comes to these offensive "video of" suggestions, it turns out that the users may be more to blame. Some of the terms suggested reportedly included sexual and child abuse, as well as videos of the Florida school shooting.

Facebook's autocomplete feature on its search bar became the reason of a heated debate when the world's largest social networking site suggested NSFW and violent results when a user typed "video of".




According to the Guardian, the feature that is supposed to offer the most popular search terms broke. As for what happened, Facebook released a statement to explain the matter to users.

Unlike Google's autocomplete feature on search, which is based on the words people use to search, Facebook mixes predictions that would link to both profiles, pages and to content like posts. A survey earlier this month, while not necessarily related to a video of children, asked participants how they felt about the platform potentially allowing child grooming content. "We do not allow sexually explicit imagery, and we are committed to keeping such content off our site", it continued.

Questions naturally are also being raised about the autocomplete search algorithm Facebook uses and whether it was just a one-off incident.

Google, on the other hand, takes into account the search terms a user has used in the past, search terms others are using in the region along with the specific terms the user is using at the present moment.


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