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Facebook disables feature that mistook Black men for primates

Facebook disables feature that mistook Black men for primates

Facebook landed in another controversy after its topic recommendation feature mistook Black men for "primates" in a video. A spokesperson said on Friday that the feature has been disabled and it was a "clearly unacceptable error".

Facebook told AFP that the social media platform apologises to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations. The facial recognition software was slammed by civil rights advocates who pointed out that it has problems with accuracy, particularly when it comes to people who are not white.

The New York Times had reported that Facebook users who were recently watching a British tabloid video featuring Black men were shown an auto-generated prompt asking if they would like to "keep seeing videos about Primates".

A screenshot of this recommendation was shared on Twitter by former Facebook content design manager Darci Groves. She wrote to her former colleagues at Facebook that the prompt is "unacceptable" and "egregious". She also mentioned that the video was a year old.

Humans are among the many species in the primate family, the video did not feature monkeys, chimpanzees, or gorillas. And the content did not have anything to do with these animals.

"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," said the Facebook spokesperson.

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TAGS:Facebook Social media 
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