Facebook asks if it's okay for adult men to ask minors for sexual pictures, apologises later

Shockingly, nowhere in the survey was it mentioned about law enforcement and child protection in such scenarios Photograph:( Others )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 06, 2018, 06.12 AM (IST)

Facebook, on Monday, apologised for a survey it sent to some of its users whether paedophiles should be able to proposition underage girls for sexually explicit photographs. 

They said it was a "mistake" on their part to send out such a survey. On Sunday, the social media giant conducted a survey for some users asking them how they should handle grooming behaviour. 

“There are a wide range of topics and behaviours that appear on Facebook,” one 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 answer section comprised of responses ranging 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”.

The following question asked users about who should decide the rules around whether or not the adult man should be allowed to ask for such pictures on Facebook. Options available included “Facebook users decide the rules by voting and tell Facebook” and “Facebook decides the rules on its own”.

Shockingly, nowhere in the survey was it mentioned about law enforcement and child protection in such scenarios. 

Other parts of the survey asked similar questions about content glorifying extremism and asked users to rank how important they felt it was that Facebook’s policies were developed in a transparent manner, were fair, took into account different cultural norms, and achieved “the ‘right outcome’”.

Also read: Report suggests Facebook, Google make profits from online 'pop-up' brothels

Facebook scrapped the survey that posed questions about teens being groomed by older men after it was spotted by media outlets in the United Kingdom. It now says the survey could have been better "designed."

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson added: “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.”

This is what people had to say about the situation: 

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