Facebook wants you to know it didn’t mean to autofill your video searches with, ahem, explicit suggestions.
Several users were greeted with sexual and violent recommendations on Thursday night — including child pornography — after entering “video of” in Facebook’s search bar
Quartz’s Mike Murphy, among others, shared a screenshot of the suggestions on Twitter.
— Mike Murphy (@mcwm) March 16, 2018
Daily Caller writer Jonah Bennett asked his followers to share their results, with one user sharing a suggestion for “video of little girl sucking.” Others tweeted similar recommendations.
— Jevaughn Brown (@Jevaughn_Brown) March 16, 2018
Facebook blocks sexually explicit material, and there was no evidence users were hit with results for the vulgar suggestions. The suggestions were removed by Friday morning, and the company issued an apology — indicating the predictions actually reflected popular searches from users.
“We’re very sorry this happened. As soon as we became aware of these offensive predictions we removed them,” said the social network in a statement to TheWrap. “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. We are looking into why these search predictions appeared, and going forward, we’re working to improve the quality of search predictions.”
The apology comes at a time when Facebook is looking to revamp its News Feed. The social network admitted more than 100 million Americans viewed Russian troll content before and after the 2016 election — something CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was “dead serious” about squashing. And earlier this week, Facebook confirmed its looking to curb misinformation by partnering with 10 publishers for video content, ahead of the 2018 U.S. midterms. You can now add stamping out explicit search results to its “to do” list.