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Facebook Apologizes for Pornographic Search Suggestions

CEO Mark Zuckerberg marked the 14th anniversary of the founding of Facebook with reflections on mistakes he has made in building the biggest social network
AFP

Facebook has apologized for recent search suggestions that featured terms related to pornography, some of which included terms like “little girl.”

The Guardian reports that social media giant Facebook has issued an apology for recent search suggestions that showed users vulgar terms related to pornography. The suggested search function of the website is meant to suggest the most popular search results to users, but recently when users searched for the term “video of,” they received odd suggestions, many of which would search for pornography some of which specifically mention young people. Users took to Twitter to bring attention to the search results which included terms such as “video of girl sucking dick under water”, “videos of sexuals” and “video of little girl giving oral.”

Users reported many other odd algorithmic suggestions such as “zodwa wabantu videos and pics” (a South African celebrity) and “cristiano ronaldo hala madrid king video call.” Facebook has since apologized for what they say is an error in the site’s search function, and promising to investigate the issue saying:

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

Google has faced similar issues with their search engine returning autocomplete results such as “are jews evil”, “are women evil” and “are muslims bad.” This is Facebook’s second brush with sexual content potentially including minors in the past few weeks, the company was previously forced to apologize for a recent user survey which asked if pedophiles should be allowed to request sexual images from children on the social media platform. Facebook’s VP of product Guy Rosen stated that the survey was “a mistake,” and continued to say “We run surveys to understand how the community thinks about how we set policies. But this kind of activity is and will always be completely unacceptable on FB. We regularly work with authorities if identified. It shouldn’t have been part of this survey. That was a mistake.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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