According to people familiar with the matter, Facebook is forming a new internal team dedicated to research and solve the problem of algorithmic racial bias on its core platform and instagram. This means that Facebook’s policy has changed after the company was reluctant to explore how its products affect the practices of different ethnic minorities.
according to people familiar with the matter, Facebook’s team on the app platform of the same name is called the inclusive product team, while the team formed by instagram is called the fairness and inclusion team. They will be responsible for investigating the impact of the company’s algorithm on black, Hispanic and other ethnic minority users and compare it with the impact on white users.
the two teams will consult with black users and expert committees on race issues. The new team will also consult with other product teams and may design features designed to support minority users of the platform. Facebook’s move comes as advertisers continue to resist how the social media giant regulates its platform and employees’ protests over the way it deals with race issues.
a Facebook spokesman said in a statement that the task of the new team is “to ensure that everything we do in the product development process is fair and just. We will continue to work closely with Facebook’s responsive AI team to ensure that we focus on potential biases on our respective platforms. ”
the potential algorithmic bias has always been controversial within Facebook. Last year, the company’s executives banned employees from studying the different ethnic influences associated with their platform without the permission of the so-called m-team, according to people familiar with the matter. M-team is a team of executives, including chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.
in recent months, Facebook has been under increasing internal and external pressure to face up to its impact on minority communities and the lack of racial diversity in its top team. Facebook announced a commitment to increase black and minority representation to 30% of the leadership in five years. The company also plans to double its black and Hispanic workforce by 2023.