Facebook apologizes for labeling black males “primates”

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Facebook apologizes for labeling black males

After mistaking Black males for “primates” in a video on the social network, Facebook has disabled its topic recommendation function.

The recommendation program involved was taken down, according to a Facebook spokesman, who termed it a “clearly unacceptable error.”

“We apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations,” Facebook said in response to an AFP inquiry.

“We disabled the entire topic recommendation feature as soon as we realized this was happening so we could investigate the cause and prevent this from happening again.”

Civil rights activists have criticized facial recognition software, claiming that it is inaccurate, especially when it comes to individuals who are not white.

According to the New York Times, Facebook users who recently viewed a British tabloid video showing Black males were presented with an auto-generated popup asking whether they wanted to “keep seeing videos about Primates.”

The June 2020 video in question, posted by the Daily Mail, is titled, “A white man calls cops on black men at the marina.”

The film has nothing to do with monkeys, chimps, or gorillas, despite the fact that humans are among the numerous species in the primate family.

Darci Groves, a former Facebook content design manager, posted a screenshot of the suggestion on Twitter.

“This ‘keep seeing’ prompt is unacceptable,” Groves tweeted, aiming the message at former colleagues at Facebook.

In recent years, the social media giant created by Mark Zuckerberg has been embroiled in a number of scandals.

In the wake of the death of a Black man, George Floyd, in police custody, hundreds of advertisers signed on to the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, organized by social justice organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Free Press, to pressure Facebook to take concrete steps to block hate speech and misinformation.

David A Love, a freelance journalist and media studies professor based in Philadelphia, said in a 2019 Al Jazeera article that Zuckerberg’s business is deliberately “enabling hate groups, white nationalists, and far-right extremists.”

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