Technology

Twitter to check algorithm after image-cropping bias accusation


The social network said it will work with several engineers, researchers and data scientists to assess ‘unintentional’ harm in the algorithms

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Twitter Inc has launched an initiative to provide users context on how it uses machine learning (ML) algorithm. The move comes at a time when several users criticised the platform over its image-cropping feature. They claim the feature manifests racial bias, particularly against Black users, in the algorithm.

The California-based company said it will analyse how algorithms behave on the platform. The codes were designed to help, but may have started to behave differently, Twitter noted.

It added that it will work with several engineers, researchers and data scientists to assess ‘unintentional’ harm in the algorithms. This includes analysis of gender and racial bias in its image-cropping algorithm, home timelines recommendations across racial subgroups, and analysis of content recommendations for different political ideologies across seven countries. Twitter did not enlist the names of the countries.

Also Read | Twitter asks public how it should treat rule-breaking world leaders

Twitter is hardly the first social network to be accused of racial discrimination on the platform. Facebook’s algorithm has been called out several times till date, including the incident in 2018 when it was said to have allowed some U.S.-based property and job advertisers to exclude certain minority groups in their postings.

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