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Facebook surveys users on course of action for adults asking minors for sexual pictures


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In a recent round of surveys sent to its users, social media giant Facebook asked how they would react to a private message in which an adult asks a 14-year-old for sexual pictures.

Even ignoring that the included options say "This content should be allowed on Facebook, and I would not mind seeing it" and "I have no preference on this topic", the fact that the only sane, proper recourse, "Report this to the police because it is illegal" is missing in its entirety is utterly baffling.

This apparent legitimization of alternative lines of action against illegal acts is best described as horrifying. In a statement to The Times, British Labour MP Yvette Cooper has described the survey as "stupid" and "irresponsible", saying:

"I cannot imagine that Facebook executives ever want it on their platform but they also should not send out surveys that suggest they might tolerate it or suggest to Facebook users that this might ever be acceptable."

In response, Facebook Product VP Guy Rosen tweeted:

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.


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.



Given that in a company, common procedure for outreach such as this survey involves more than one person approving it, to say that "it was a mistake" feels like a flimsy excuse.



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