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Facebook’s autocomplete is throwing up sexually explicit suggestions.Image: lili sams/mashableBy Johnny Lieu2018-03-16 04:08:51 UTC

Predictive search results are often hit and miss, but Facebook’s search bar is seriously playing up.
Typing the phrase “video of” into Facebook’s search bar is prompting some users to see sexually explicit and violent autocomplete suggestions.

Clicking on these results doesn’t bring up content of exactly what is being searched for, but nonetheless, it’s a bizarre occurrence that raises questions about how Facebook’s search bar autocomplete works.

If you type just “video of” into you facebook search bar some very disturbing and horrible things come up….. what the heck @facebook ?! its seriously disgusting
— Annelise Jr. (@annelisejr) March 16, 2018

Facebook has said in the past its autocomplete mixes predictions that would link to both profiles and pages, as well as to content like posts. 
In comparison, Google said its autocomplete algorithm is based on the words users type in, terms that have been previously searched, and what other people are searching for.
Of course, vile results still show up in Google’s autocomplete from time to time, as in 2016 when the company altered results that were anti-semitic. Google allows users to report offensive predictive results, and has an autocomplete policy which forbids sexually explicit, violent, hateful or harmful suggestions from showing up.
Update 3/16, 8:18 a.m. ET: In a statement provided to Mashable, Facebook said, “We’re very sorry this happened. 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. We are looking into why these search predictions appeared, and going forward, we’re working to improve the quality of search predictions.”

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