Facebook has been forced to apologize after it spent hours suggesting bizarre, disturbing, and upsetting searches to users on Thursday night.
Typing "video of" into the Facebook search bar yielded disturbing results...
Others reported similar results in other languages.
Facebook wanted to show video search results for free sex and children... disturbing. pic.twitter.com/v3uYZRRvKy— Hillary for Prison (@HRC4Prison) March 16, 2018
In a statement, Facebook apologized and said it was investigating the issue:
“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.”
The Guardian reports that search engine autocompletions are a regular source of concern for Silicon Valley. Google has repeatedly faced criticism over the questions it proposes for users, with suggested searches over time including “are jews evil”, “are women evil” and “are muslims bad”.