Fact Check

Searching 'Chicken Soup' on Facebook Returns a Warning About Child Sexual Abuse?

"Why has chicken soup come up as a child abuse alert on Facebook? I am confused," a social media user asked.

Published Aug. 15, 2023

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Image Via Getty Images
Claim:
Searching the phrase "chicken soup" on Facebook returned a warning about child sexual abuse, as of mid-August 2023.

In summer 2023, a rumor spread on social media that claimed searching the phrase "chicken soup" in Facebook's search engine returned a warning about child sexual abuse.

Facebook chicken soup? What's it about?
by u/Missdigestive1 in facebook

The claim was true, according to an experiment by Snopes and articles by other news outlets corroborating the claim.

While the phrase "chicken soup" may appear innocent to some people, it has ties to a code phrase that corners of the internet use to refer to child pornography. That phrase is the Spanish translation of "chicken soup" — "caldo de pollo." "Caldo de pollo" shares an acronym ("CP") with "child pornography."

According to policies governing Facebook (Facebook Community Standards), the platform does not allow content or activity that sexually exploits or endangers children, and bans "content (including photos, videos, real-world art, digital content, and verbal depictions) that sexualizes real or non-real children."

To check this claim, we tried typing the phrase "chicken soup" ourselves into Facebook's search engine. When we hit the "search" button, a notification popped up with the title, "Child Sexual Abuse Is Illegal." That notification redirected to an article hosted on Facebook's Help Center with the intro, "I am concerned by my own thoughts about children or by someone else's behavior." That article read:

If you're concerned by your own sexual thoughts about children and young people, or by someone else's behavior (such as a friend or family member), there are organizations that can provide support for people who need help coping with these feelings and urges.

Remember, it can be criminal to produce, possess or share photos and videos of children being sexually abused and exploited. It is also against Facebook's Terms of Service and Community Standards.

You can also learn how to report images of child exploitation on Facebook.

If you're going through a difficult time, contact a helpline if you or a friend need support. You can visit our emotional health hub or find a helpline.

Websites for organizations in various countries that aim to help people with inappropriate thoughts about children were listed at the bottom of the article. 

It's widely reported that people use the Spanish phrase "caldo de pollo" to refer to child pornography. For example, a man who was allegedly caught with child pornography on his phone near Brownsville, Texas, in July 2023 used the phrase in an interview with authorities, according to ValleyCentral.com, a local Texas news website. That outlet reported:

[The man] was interviewed by agents where he gave consent for agents to go through apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter and Facebook Messenger. According to the complaint, agents asked him about an outgoing message on Telegram that stated "Tienes CP," which translates to "Do you have CP?"

He told agents "CP" stands for "caldo de pollo," which translates to chicken soup. 

He also claimed that "caldo de pollo" is a code for child porn, but denied knowing the material was on his phone.

Moreover, an NBC article published in April 2020 titled, "Child sexual abuse images and online exploitation surge during pandemic," read (emphasis ours):

Concerned parents notified NBC News of accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and in the comments of YouTube videos where users were sharing and asking for links to child abuse images and videos. Many of the links were to groups on private messaging apps, including Telegram and WhatsApp, as well as to file-sharing sites such as Mega. Sometimes they used generic terms with the initials "C.P.," a common abbreviation for "child pornography," and code like "caldo de pollo," which means "chicken soup" in Spanish. 

Sources

"'Caldo de pollo', entre las palabras clave usadas por pedófilos en redes sociales." El Heraldo de México, 16 May 2021, https://heraldodemexico.com.mx/tendencias/2021/5/16/caldo-de-pollo-entre-las-palabras-clave-usadas-por-pedofilos-en-redes-sociales-296524.html.

"---." El Heraldo de México, 16 May 2021, https://heraldodemexico.com.mx/tendencias/2021/5/16/caldo-de-pollo-entre-las-palabras-clave-usadas-por-pedofilos-en-redes-sociales-296524.html.

"Caldo de Pollo; la cruel verdad de Telegram y sus grupos de Pornografía Infantil." La Verdad Noticias, 12 May 2020, https://laverdadnoticias.com/quintanaroo/Caldo-de-Pollo-la-cruel-verdad-de-Telegram-y-sus-grupos-de-Pornografia-Infantil-20200512-0007.html.

"---." La Verdad Noticias, 12 May 2020, https://laverdadnoticias.com/quintanaroo/Caldo-de-Pollo-la-cruel-verdad-de-Telegram-y-sus-grupos-de-Pornografia-Infantil-20200512-0007.html.

"Caldo de pollo: La perturbadora palabra clave que usan los pedófilos para buscar pornografía infantil en internet." FayerWayer, 19 Sept. 2019, https://www.fayerwayer.com/2019/09/pornografia-infantil-caldo-de-pollo/.

"Child Sexual Abuse Images and Online Exploitation Surge during Pandemic." NBC News, 23 Apr. 2020, https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/child-sexual-abuse-images-online-exploitation-surge-during-pandemic-n1190506.

NBC News, 23 Apr. 2020, https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/child-sexual-abuse-images-online-exploitation-surge-during-pandemic-n1190506.

Docs: Man Caught with Child Porn, Told Agents His Message "Tienes CP?" Stood for Caldo de Pollo. 15 Aug. 2023, http://web.archive.org/web/20230815140216/https://www.valleycentral.com/news/local-news/docs-man-caught-with-child-porn-told-agents-his-message-tienes-cp-stood-for-caldo-de-pollo/.

Facebook Help Center. https://www.facebook.com/help/195478914971499. Accessed 15 Aug. 2023.

Facebook: Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Nudity. https://transparency.fb.com/policies/community-standards/child-sexual-exploitation-abuse-nudity/. Accessed 15 Aug. 2023.

Aleksandra Wrona is a reporting fellow for Snopes, based in the Warsaw area.