Facebook routinely sends surveys to users, asking how the site’s experience can be improved. That’s not surprising — but one of the questions the company recently asked was. For some reason, Facebook made the shocking and strange mistake of asking users for their opinion on allowing sexual predators to approach children for pictures on the platform.
The question, posed to a small group of users last weekend, read: “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.” Facebook then asked who users thought should be deciding rules like that.
The public reaction to this line of questioning was understandably alarmed, and Facebook immediately pulled the survey. Facebook VP of product Guy Rosen also apologized for the “mistake.”
“We run surveys to understand how the community thinks about how we set policies,” he 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.”
It’s unclear why Facebook thought this question would yield valuable answers in the first place. All it did was confuse and anger users, and make it seem like the site was actually considering allowing pedophiles to use it.