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Facebook survey asked users if they’d like child porn on the site

Published Mar 5th, 2018 6:23PM EST

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Facebook is already apologizing for a survey, shown to a small number of users on Sunday, which solicited opinions on what Facebook’s policy should be if an adult man “asks a 14-year-old girl for sexual pictures.” The Guardian first reported on the survey, which more generally asked some users how they thought Facebook should handle grooming behavior.

Facebook VP of Product Guy Rosen apologized for the survey on Twitter, describing it as a “mistake.”

“We run surveys to understand how the community thinks about how we set policies,” Rosen said. “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.”

According to The Guardian, the survey didn’t just ask how Facebook should handle such content. According to the report, the possible range of responses to the question went all the way from “this content should not be allowed on Facebook, and no one should be able to see it” to “this content should be allowed on Facebook, and I would not mind seeing it.”

In a separate comment to the newspaper, Facebook said that “we understand this survey refers to offensive content that is already prohibited on Facebook and that we have no intention of allowing so have stopped the survey. We have prohibited child grooming on Facebook since our earliest days; we have no intention of changing this and we regularly work with the police to ensure that anyone found acting in such a way is brought to justice.”

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.