LOADING ...

Facebook Sorry Its Autocomplete Suggested Users Search for Child Porn Videos

Sidney Fussell Mar 19, 2018. 12 comments

Facebook is apologizing after multiple users were served disturbing autocomplete suggestions of children performing sex acts Thursday night.

Facebook seemingly issued a fix as the same search terms no longer return the results as of Friday morning.

Late Thursday night, conservative reporter and graduate student Jonah Bennett asked followers to post their results when typing “video of” into Facebook’s search bar.

In response, multiple users posted deeply disturbing screengrabs of what Facebook’s autocomplete suggested in the search bar. Typing in “video of...” returned suggestions of child abuse videos and young girls performing sex acts. At least one user found similar results when searching in Spanish using “video de...”

Facebook prohibits any sexually explicit content—not just illegal sexualized depictions of children—on its platform, and we have seen no evidence that searching the suggested terms returned videos or other content that matched the offending descriptions.

Still, Facebook has drawn criticism for disturbing search suggestions in the past, albeit in a different capacity. In September, ProPublica found Facebook enabled advertisers to target users with interest in self-selected anti-Semitic topics such as “jew hater.”Algorithms suggested ad targeting categories like “Hitler did nothing wrong.” Facebook apologized and promised to improve its monitoring of ad content.

In a statement to the Guardian, Facebook apologized for—but didn’t fully explain—the disturbing search suggestions.

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

We reached out to Facebook for further comment and will update if we hear back.

[The Guardian]

12 Comments

Other Sidney Fussell's posts

Amazon Shareholders Call for Jeff Bezos to Stop Selling Facial Recognition to Police Amazon Shareholders Call for Jeff Bezos to Stop Selling Facial Recognition to Police

On Friday, 20 groups of Amazon shareholders sent CEO Jeff Bezos a letter pressuring him to stop selling the company’s face recognition software to law enforcement, CNN reports. Called Rekognition, the software came under greater scrutiny last month when the ACLU published revealing internal documents related to its use by police. Numerous civil rights organizations co-signed a letter demanding...

Why your friends are posting black squares on Instagram Why your friends are posting black squares on Instagram

Early on election day, Instagram was flooded with happy "I voted" selfies and messages of hope. But in the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump's stunning election as the 45th president of the United States, the tone on the social networked changed. Many users posted black photos, most without captions, seemingly at a loss for words:This election has been full of memes, but...

These apps try to ensure you're not giving your money to a racist These apps try to ensure you're not giving your money to a racist

This Summer, in the wake of the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile police shootings, Atlanta rapper and activist Killer Mike made headlines for his #BankBlackBankSmallBankLocal campaign which persuaded young people to invest their money in black-owned banks. At a rally event in July, the “Run the Jewels” star stood in front of a crowd and pulled a $100 bill from his pocket."We’ve spent 100...

Elon Musk wants to turn Mars into the next Silicon Valley Elon Musk wants to turn Mars into the next Silicon Valley

Elon Musk, the billionaire inventor and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, announced Tuesday his ambitious plan for turning humans into the “first multiplanetary species” by 2070: by building a sprawling self-sustaining colony of a million people on Mars."It's going to be very dangerous," Musk admitted during the presentation. "The risk of fatality will be high. I would not suggest sending...

Suggested posts

Facebook Begins Rolling Out New Tool to See Which of Its Data Pals Are Monitoring You Facebook Begins Rolling Out New Tool to See Which of Its Data Pals Are Monitoring You

As Facebook works to undo the damage of years of user data scandals—ostensibly with an overhauled focus on “privacy,” or something—part of that effort has involved rolling out features geared at greater transparency that, quite frankly, should have been introduced years ago. But here we are.Facebook announced in a blog post on Tuesday that in an effort to “shed...

Facebook Privately Admitted Failure in Vetting the Author of Its 'Anti-Conservative' Audit Facebook Privately Admitted Failure in Vetting the Author of Its 'Anti-Conservative' Audit

Facebook on Tuesday released the initial report prepared by its external auditor concerning the rampant speculation about anti-conservative bias at the company. More than a year ago, however, company officials privately copped to the fact that they’d failed to properly vet the man chosen to spearhead the effort, according to sources involved in the exchange. The admission came in...

Mark Zuckerberg Is a Slumlord Mark Zuckerberg Is a Slumlord

Alternate InternetThis week, we look at the ways the internet could have been—and could be—different.  Tech giants, and social media ones in particular, are, well, giant. But they’re also dense, and certain problems tend to arise when a very large number of people occupy the same space. Sites like Facebook rely on the so-called network effect, the concept that a service...

Chinese Official Ironically Says State Media Shouldn't Be Restricted on Facebook and Twitter Chinese Official Ironically Says State Media Shouldn't Be Restricted on Facebook and Twitter

Facebook and Twitter are blocked in mainland China by the country’s censors, but that hasn’t stopped Chinese state media from using those same social media platforms to spread propaganda about the protests in Hong Kong. And Chinese officials are not happy that both Twitter and Facebook have started to crack down on government-run accounts for spreading disinformationChina’s Foreign Minister,...

Facebook Yanks Another Trump Ad for a Laughably Obvious Policy Violation Facebook Yanks Another Trump Ad for a Laughably Obvious Policy Violation

Facebook has pulled another Donald Trump campaign ad for blatantly violating its advertising policies, but it only did so after being reached by the progressive Popular Info newsletter for comment, according to a Monday report by the newsletter.The ad in question, below, featured an image of a crowd of women accompanied by the caption, “The Women for Trump Coalition...

Facebook and Twitter: It Sure Looks Like China's Spreading Bullshit About Hong Kong Protesters Facebook and Twitter: It Sure Looks Like China's Spreading Bullshit About Hong Kong Protesters

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter this week disclosed their responses to what they characterized as coordinated disinformation campaigns originating in China—specifically tied to pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong—that they believe may be linked to the Chinese government.Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in a blog post on Monday the company removed three groups, five accounts, and...

To Curb Hate Speech Online, Beto O'Rourke Says Hold the Platforms Hosting That Shit Responsible To Curb Hate Speech Online, Beto O'Rourke Says Hold the Platforms Hosting That Shit Responsible

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke wants to stem the spread of hate speech on the internet after several recent mass shootings, including one in O’Rourke’s hometown of El Paso earlier this month, have been linked to online extremism. One solution proposed in a recent blog post on his campaign website would hold online platforms accountable for what their users post....

Report: Facebook Content Mods Say Company Therapists Were Forced to Share Session Details Report: Facebook Content Mods Say Company Therapists Were Forced to Share Session Details

Adding to an already ridiculously long list of complaints, now Facebook’s content moderators say a higher-up asked company-appointed counselors to share their confidential information, according to a new report from the Intercept.Numerous investigations have described this workforce as notoriously underpaid and overworked in crappy working conditions that require them to scan through some of the most disturbing posts the...

AOL Could've Saved the World AOL Could've Saved the World

Can you imagine a world where AOL owned YouTube and Facebook? It sounds delightfully boring. And it almost came to be, according to the former AOL CEO Jon Miller.In a CNBC interview published on Thursday, Miller revealed that in 2006 the company attempted to buy YouTube and Facebook.Miller told CNBC that he spoke to YouTube founders Chad Hurley, Jawed...

Terrorist Who Allegedly Killed 51 People in New Zealand Gets Letter Published to 4Chan From Jail Terrorist Who Allegedly Killed 51 People in New Zealand Gets Letter Published to 4Chan From Jail

The white supremacist accused of killing 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, currently has no access to internet, TV, newspapers, and radio. Yet he’s still able to get his hateful ideology out into the world, all thanks to extremists on 4Chan and lax rules about letter writing in New Zealand prisons.Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old Australian national...

Language