Twitter is looking into its neural network on why their system favours white faces over black faces when selecting the image preview.
Tests by Twitter users have found out that the social media’s algorithm seemed to be racially biased and it does raise a question.
One user posted 2 stretched out images which show former US President Barack Obama and American politician Mitch McConnell, to see which face gets picked as the preview picture. It picked McConnell’s face as the preview and ignored Obama’s face completely, even after switching the position.
Furthermore, one user even tried it with The Simpsons cartoon characters, Lenny and Carl, with the latter being black. Despite them being cartoon characters, the algorithm still chose Lenny as a preference.
More tests by users have been made to demonstrate the “racial bias” and it got Twitter’s attention to take action. They said the feature is currently under review with Twitter chief design officer Dantley Davis adding that there are “some variables that we need to look into.”
The social media platform might get a bad reputation from this, but let’s not ignore the good things they’ve done. Twitter is currently spreading awareness reminding people to wear a mask through a custom “like” animation.
With all the new “like” animations for certain hashtags, Twitter has made one specifically for #WearAMask. Anytime people hit the like button on tweets with this trending hashtag, they’ll get a cute animation of an emoji wearing a mask.
We would also like to remind everyone during this pandemic to wear a mask when leaving your home. Let’s break the COVID-19 chain together!