Facebook has apologised after it asked some users whether pedophiles should be allowed to use the site to groom children.
The social media firm was forced to apologise after users reported seeing a survey that asked them what they think Facebook should do if a man “asks a 14 year old girl for sexual pictures”.
The survey said the question was being asked to help determine whether that type of behaviour “should or should not be allowed on Facebook”.
The survey then gave respondents a number of options, such as if Facebook should ban such behaviour or refer the incident “external experts”. Only one of the four possible options allowed users to reply that sexual photos of children should be banned from the site completely.
The four options 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” and “I have no preference on this topic”.
Jonathan Haynes from the Guardian spotted the survey on Sunday, tweeting: “I mean, this is not the kind of topic you should be determining policy on by surveying your readers. Facebook so out of touch with the real world.”
So this popped up on Facebook pic.twitter.com/fL2QKgyr9x
— Jonathan Haynes (@JonathanHaynes) March 4, 2018
The site has since admitted the survey was “a mistake” and that grooming of children is not allowed on Facebook.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Facebook said:
“We sometimes ask for feedback from people about our community standards and the types of content they would find most concerning on Facebook.
“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.”