Twitter is working on its racial and gender bias allegations. The company accepted the mistake and is going to change its image cropping system.
Even before this, Twitter has been caught in different types of controversies. Now, Twitter is caught in racial and gender bias allegations. Twitter users say that the platform is judging peoples on the bases of their skin pigmentation. Therefore, the app is cropping thumbnails into the favor of the faces of a white person over a black one.
Zoom is also caught in these types of allegations. Researcher Colin Madland posted a tweet, which says that the face-detection algorithm that allegedly erases black faces when they are applying a virtual background on the video conferencing app.
What was the issue?
Facial and gender bias allegations are made on Twitter. Researcher Colin Madland posted each user’s photo in chat; the app’s image thumbnail cropping algorithm was favoring Madland over his black colleagues.
Like that, Tony Arcieri is a cryptographic engineer who tweeted a mugshot of former US President Barack Obama and Mitch McConnell. Tony wanted to find out how the app’s image thumbnail cropping algorithm will work on that image. To all the users’ surprise, Twitter showed McConnell over Obama.
Tony used different types of patterns, and then he put the images in the mugshots, but in all cases, the algorithm showed McConnell over Obama.
Twitter said they had previously tested for racial and gender bias, but due to an “oversight” they did not publish how they performed those tests. 😐 https://t.co/Ov8hug3ivr
— The Spook who sat by the Ring Doorbell (@hypervisible) October 2, 2020
Many users performed the same experiment, but the results were the same. Along with this, many people have done this experiment on animals, cartoons, but they too have seen similar products.
What does twitter say?
Twitter told about its photo cropping model that the system uses the most silent and engaging part of the photo while creating a preview image. Additionally, they are finding evidence of extreme or gender biases. The company has also agreed that they have more analysis to do.
Apart from this, Twitter commented that the company is going to improve its preview options. They also include more control option which is related to cropping. Now users can control how to crop images. Therefore, users can choose which part of the image will preview in the post.
“We hope that giving people more choices for image cropping and previewing what they’ll look like in the Tweet composer may help reduce the risk of harm,” the company said in one of its posts.
Twitter Chief Design Offer Dantley Davis responded to Madland’s observations by saying, “It’s 100 percent our fault. No one should say otherwise. Now the next step is fixing it.” Thus, Twitter accepts its mistake and is looking forward to correcting it.
Image courtesy of Michael Vi/Shutterstock