Facebook issued yet another apology this week after users reported strange or inappropriate suggested searches on Thursday night. UK users who typed in “video of,” before a search were met with suggestions for content involving everything from underage sex acts to foreign celebrities.
In a statement issued after the most recent malfunction, Facebook said: ”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.”
This whole incident comes about a week after the social media platform came under fire for releasing a survey in which they asked users how the site should respond to adults soliciting sex acts from minors. Nowhere in Facebook’s survey was there anything about contacting the proper authorities, or even an acknowledgment of the fact that the acts in question were already illegal. Facebook has since apologized for the survey, saying that it was simply an attempt to “understand how the community thinks,” when it comes to Facebook’s policy creation and implementation.
Previously, Facebook was also criticized for the release of their Messenger Kids App, targeted at those 13 and under. This new scandal around search suggestions – which are supposed to be indicative of the most popular searches on the platform – is only adding fuel to that fire. As the public starts to deeply examine the effects of social media technology on kids, Facebook’s actions are cause for concern.