Tags: George Floyd Protests | facebook | instagram | racial | bias | social | media

Facebook Forming Teams to Study Racial Bias in Algorithms

Facebook Forming Teams to Study Racial Bias in Algorithms
( Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 July 2020 07:03 PM

Facebook is forming teams for its main social media site and on Instagram to study and address potential racial bias in a move to determine how its algorithms affect minority groups. 

The move is a change from how the company had been reluctant to explore the effects of its products and comes during a widespread advertiser boycott about how Facebook polices platforms and amid unrest among employees about how the online giant deals with issues of race, reports The Wall Street Journal.  

“The racial justice movement is a moment of real significance for our company,” said Vishal Shah, Instagram’s head of product, said.  “Any bias in our systems and policies runs counter to providing a platform for everyone to express themselves.”

A new “equity and inclusion team” being set up for Instagram will examine how the company's algorithms affect minorities, and how the effects compare with those white users experience, sources familiar with the move said. Facebook will have a similar team for its main app. 

Facebook has had controversy over the years concerning the potential of algorithmic bias. Company officials were blocked last year from studying the racial impacts that were associated with its program without approval from the "M-Team" of executives including Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, according to sources.

At about the same time, an internal analysis at Instagram determined that users whose online activities suggested they were Black were 50% more likely to have their accounts disabled. 

Instagram worked on new parameters for deleting of suspending accounts,  but were blocked from further research on the thresholds. 

Facebook does not specifically gather race data but uses a proxy for race that is based on content that is used, allowing companies to target ads based on affinity groups. 

“It’s early; we plan to share more details on this work in the coming months,” said Stephanie Otway, an Instagram spokeswoman about the new team, which does not yet have a leader. 

At Facebook, the "Inclusivity Product Team and will consult with a council of Black users and race experts. 

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
Facebook is forming teams for its main social media site and on Instagram to study and address potential racial bias in a move to determine how its algorithms affect minority groups....
facebook, instagram, racial, bias, social, media
345
2020-03-21
Tuesday, 21 July 2020 07:03 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved