Facebook apologizes for survey on men asking underaged girls for ‘sexual’ pictures

The survey asked users about what they'd do if they were setting Facebook's policies.
Mon Mar 5, 2018 - 3:14 pm EST
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March 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Facebook has apologized for and discontinued a user survey on attitudes toward adults using social media to solicit “sexual” images from children.

Jonathan Haynes, the Digital Editor of the UK’s The Guardian, tweeted a photo of the question that caused widespread concern. It was part of “survey for some users asking how they thought the company should handle grooming behaviour,” The Guardian later reported.

“There are a wide range of topics and behaviors that appear on Facebook,” the question began. “In thinking about an ideal world where you could set Facebook’s policies, how would you handle the following: a private message in which an adult man asks a 14 year old girl for sexual pictures.”

The answers that could be selected were:

  • This content should be allowed on Facebook, and I would not mind seeing it
  • This content should be allowed on Facebook, but I don’t want to see it
  • This content should not be allowed on Facebook, and no one should be able to see it
  • I have no preference on this topic

Haynes tweeted his concern that the “best” the social media giant could do would be to make such solicitations "secret," rather than “calling the police.”

“We run surveys to understand how the community thinks about how we set policies,” Facebook’s Vice President of Product tweeted. “But this kind of activity is and will always be completely unacceptable on FB. We regularly work with authorities if identified. It shouldn't have been part of this survey. That was a mistake.”

Another question asked, “When thinking about the rules for deciding whether a private message in which an adult man asks a 14 year old for sexual pictures should or should not be allowed on Facebook, ideally who do you think should be deciding the rules?

Facebook users, external experts, and Facebook itself or Facebook with input from experts were answers that could be selected.

Earlier this year, a group saying a Christian activist mom should be “burned...alive” was deemed to fit Facebook’s community standards.

The Vatican’s over-sexualized nativity scene, however, was deemed “sexually suggestive or provocative.”

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