Facebook has been impacted by a new, rather weird bug that allows users to search for photos of female friends but refuses to show them photos of male friends. The issue was first discovered by famous Belgian white-hat hacker Inti De Ceukelaire who later revealed his findings on Twitter.
According to Inti De Ceukelaire's findings, if you search for "photos of my female friends" in the primary Facebook search box, it will show photos of your female friends. However, it is not the case when searched for "photos of my male friends."
"Facebook has modified their creepy hidden search feature this weekend. You can no longer retrieve hidden photos from your male friends. Women can/may still be stalked," said Inti De Ceukelaire (translated from Dutch).
He further noted when you request photos from your male friends, Facebook assumes that you wanted to see pictures of women.
We have verified the claims made by the hacker, and to our surprise, those claims are indeed true. When we searched for "Photos of my female friends," Facebook accurately showed us the results of our female friends. But upon searching for "photos of my male friends," it simply showed us a bunch of random memes that were not from our friends.
If that was not enough, Facebook even autocompletes search query as "photos of my female friends in bikinis," which is far more shocking. Facebook told Fast Company that it is a bug.
Stretching Facebook search woes even further, it also auto-suggests following search queries: "female friends near me," "female friends who are single," "female friends who are interested in men" and so on, which is not the case when searching for male friends.
“Facebook Search predictions represent what people may be searching for on Facebook, but are not necessarily reflective of actual content on Facebook. We know that just because something doesn’t violate our Community Standards doesn’t necessarily mean people want to see it, so we’re constantly working to improve search to make sure predictions are relevant to people,” Facebook told Fast Company.