Facebook Apologizes For Child Porn Search Suggestions: ‘We Do Not Allow Sexually Explicit Imagery’

Facebook search suggestions became NSFW, and users are not happy about it.

Facebook gave NSFW search suggestions
Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Facebook search suggestions became NSFW, and users are not happy about it.

Facebook went viral on Thursday, March 15, after users received child porn search suggestions for the term “videos of.”

According to the Guardian, the feature that is supposed to offer the most popular search terms broke. Hence, users received NSFW search suggestions when they keyed in the term “videos of.”

Reports from British users poured in first, but apparently, the glitch also happened in other parts of the world. The social media company released a statement after the problem became widespread. People were also cognizant of the fact that the search suggestions did not yield the usual items they see when they look for a particular term.

With more than 1 billion users on Facebook, it’s not surprising why the reports on the odd behavior of the search suggestions went viral so quickly. Some people threatened to leave the platform because of the issue.

Facebook engineers were quick to perform some damage control and solved the problem right away. However, even after they removed suggestions hinting about possible child porn on the social media platform, the search continued to behave unusually. Users also noted that the fix was rolled out to remove the NSFW suggestions, but there was still an issue. As for what happened, Facebook released a statement to explain the matter to users.

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc. walks to a conference.
  Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The social media platform was also under scrutiny following a survey conducted just last week. The same publication revealed that Facebook asked users if they find it acceptable for pedophiles to proposition children online. Facebook’s vice president of product, Guy Rosen, issued an apology, saying the platform has no plans of allowing the behavior on the site and that the survey has been a mistake.

As for the current fiasco, Facebook issued another apology with another explanation supporting its stand on child pornography on the site.

“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.”

Facebook is not the only company under fire for providing search suggestions. Google also faced similar criticisms due to the autocomplete feature, which can be offensive to religion, gender, or race.