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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Users criticise Twitter over ‘racism’ in photo previews, company says it will look into it

Several Twitter users posted photographs that had a white and black person's face to back their claim that the preview was more likely to show the white person's face.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 22, 2020 11:24:16 am
Twitter, Twitter bias, racism in photo reviews, Twitter photo reviews, Twitter algorithm, racial bias, photo preview, Twitter photo preview racial bias, Trending news, Indian Express news.Many carried out informal tests conducted online using pictures of Mitch McConnell and Barack Obama showed that the preview algorithm consistently prioritised McConnell face over Obama’s. (Picture credit: Reuters)

Multiple users tweeted about out what they claimed was a racially bias of Twitter’s photo preview feature, prompting the company’s top officials to respond and say that they would look into it .

Several Twitter users posted of long vertical photographs that had a white and black person’s face at either end to back the claim that the photo preview feature was more likely to show the white person’s face. Twitter user Colin Madland claimed the facial recognition feature was not showing his black colleague’s face when he was using a virtual background.

After Madland’s tweet, many carried out similar informal tests online to determine the cause. Many also experimented with different faces, including Republican senator Mitch McConnell and former president Barack Obama, to claim that the feature may have a bias.

Here are some of the other tests that users conducted:

As the informal trials set Twitter abuzz,  the platform’s chief technology officer Parag Agrawal said that this was an important question.

“To address it, we did analysis on our model when we shipped it but needs continuous improvement. Love this public, open, and rigorous test — and eager to learn from this,” he tweeted.

Twitter’s chief design officer Dantley also responded to the issue to assure users that they were checking the platform’s neural network on why this was happening.

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