23:42 GMT25 November 2020
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    Social media giant Facebook has issued an apology to its users in response to criticism of a search suggestions malfunction, which suggested “bizarre, vulgar and upsetting searches” to users of the social network.

    The issue reportedly began at around 4am (GMT), and resulted in the network’s search suggestions feature – which usually ranks search phrases based on their relevance and popularity to each individual user – suggesting “unpleasant results.”

    Users expressed their anger and shock at the suggested results on other social media platforms.

    “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,” Facebook said in a statement.

    Search engine monopolist Google has previously been criticized for similar issues, with its automatic search suggestion software suggesting offensive search phrases, such as “are Jews evil” and “are Muslims bad.”

    READ MORE: FBI Warns Facebook Users Against Spreading Child Porn Video

    A Facebook survey also drew criticism last week, after it was deemed inappropriate by users. Facebook subsequently apologized and admitted its mistake and poor judgement.

    “We run surveys to understand how the community thinks about how we set policies. 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,” vice president of Facebook, Guy Rosen, said.


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