Facebook came under fire on Thursday night after users noticed search suggestions alluding to child abuse and other vulgar and upsetting results when people started typing "video of..." Facebook promptly apologized and removed the predictions.
YouTube has also been the subject of investigations regarding how it highlights extreme content. On Monday, Youtube users highlighted the prevalence of conspiracy theories and extreme content in the website's autocomplete search box.
Both companies blamed users for their search suggestion issues. Facebook told The Guardian, "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."
Alphabet's Google, the owner of YouTube, says that its search results take into account "popularity" and "freshness," which are determined by users.
But this isn't the first time users have driven computer algorithms into unexpected and deeply offensive corners. Microsoft made the same mistake two years ago with a chatbot that learned how to be extremely offensive in less than a day.