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Facebook says survey asking users how to handle men soliciting sexual pics from kids was a 'mistake

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A new Facebook survey asked social media users how they would handle adult men soliciting sexual photos from children, and the social media giant is now saying the survey was a "mistake."

What are the details?

The social media mega corporation's questionnaire — which it provided to select users on Sunday — asked users how they would handle  apparent child grooming situations, offering a multiple-choice format which enabled users to respond.

One multiple-choice answer that was strangely omitted was a "contact law enforcement" option.

One of the questions on the survey asked, "In thinking about an ideal world where you could set Facebooks' 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 multiple-choice answers featured included, "This content should be allowed on Facebook, and I would not mind seeing it," "This content should be allowed on Facebook, but I don't want to see it, "This content should not be allowed on Facebook, and no one should be able to see it," and "I have no preference on this topic."

A second question asked, "When thinking about the rules for deciding whether a private message in which an adult man asks a 14 year old girl for sexual pictures should or should not be allowed on Facebook, ideally who do you think should be deciding the rules?"

For a second time, specific direction to follow laws or contact law enforcement professionals was omitted from optional responses.

The answer choices for this question included, "Facebook decides the rules on its own," "Facebook decides the rules with advice from external experts," "External experts decide the rules and tell Facebook," "Facebook users decide the rules by voting and telling Facebook," and "I have no preference."

How has Facebook responded?

After receiving much backlash and criticism on social media, a spokesperson for Facebook told The Guardian, "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," the statement added.

A spokesperson for Facebook told Business Insider that the survey had been stopped.

"We sometimes ask for feedback from people about our community standards and the types of content they would find most concerning on Facebook," the statement explained. "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."

Guy Rose, Facebook's vice president of product, on Twitter called the survey a "mistake."

"We run surveys to understand how the community thinks about how we set policies," Rosen wrote. "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."

One last thing…
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