Image courtesy: Deccan Heralds
Facebook stopped its subject recommendation function on Friday after it mistaken Black males for “primates” in a video on the social network. According to a Facebook representative, it was a “obviously unacceptable error,” and the recommendation programme involved was taken down.
In response to an AFP enquiry, Facebook said, “We sincerely apologise to anybody who may have seen these insensitive suggestions.” “As soon as we realised this was happening, we deactivated the entire subject suggestion tool so we could examine the source and prevent it from happening again.”
Civil rights groups have slammed facial recognition software, pointing out difficulties with accuracy, particularly when it comes to persons of colour. According to the New York Times, Facebook users who watched a British tabloid video depicting Black males in recent days were sent an auto-generated popup asking if they wanted to “keep viewing films about Primates.”
The Daily Mail uploaded the footage in question in June 2020, headlined “White guy calls cops on black men at marina.” While humans are part of the ape family, the video has nothing to do with monkeys, chimps, or gorillas.
Darci Groves, a former Facebook content design manager, published a screenshot of the recommendation on Twitter. “This ‘keep seeing’ prompt is unacceptable,” Groves said, addressing former Facebook coworkers.