Facebook is forming new internal teams that will determine whether its algorithms are racially unbiased or not

Facebook has finally decided to do something about the allegations that it often faces in terms of racial bias. As per the recent report, Facebook is now forming several internal teams which will be dedicated to studying Facebook app and website, along with Instagram for any signs of racial bias that their algorithms might be coming across, or worse, causing any sort of harm or under-representation to Black, Hispanic and some other races too.

The new Facebook's Inclusive Product Council team will be responsible to make sure that no racial bias takes place anywhere on the famous social media platform and Instagram. The task of this team will also be to ensure that fairness, equality, and equitable product development are the core of every action these social media platforms take for people. To achieve their purpose, they will work closely with Facebook's Artificial Intelligence team to keep a close eye on the algorithms too, so that early detection of any racial prejudice or bias does not go unnoticed.

All these actions are being taken in response to the racial justice movements going on all over America after George Floyd's death in May 2020. Facebook has never taken a firm stance against racial bias before, and that has led it to become a target of various allegations, bans, and even protests.

Even with the issue of advertisement boycott under the #StopHateForProfit movement which was organized by certain civil rights groups including the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, and the NAACP, Mark Zuckerberg's response remained bland and quite disappointing throughout the movement. His approach and unjustified silence caused a lot of backlashes as he was called 'shallow' when he was meeting with the organizers of the boycott movement recently.

Previously, Facebook was found to have allowed advertisers to exclude certain races and minorities when ads were being made for federally regulated markets of housing and jobs. Many other times, Facebook has not shown a lot of sensitivity to the Black, Hispanic, and other under-represented groups and has faced a lot of criticism because of that.

Facebook only took some serious notice when ProPublica and other media outlets made outrageous coverage unveiling Facebook's lack of empathy with the minority groups. All that action finally made Facebook disable ad targeting options for jobs, housing, and other markets, along with credit ads after it had to make a legal settlement with civil rights organizations.

However, now Facebook has not only decided to make internal teams to study its algorithms for racial bias across both Facebook and Instagram, but it has also decided to donate around $200 million to support businesses owned by the Black community. It also pledges to give more employment chances to the minority groups by the year 2023 while letting more of them have leadership roles in the teams also.

Instagram's CEO Adam Mosseri has also pledged to solve the problems of Instagram's Black employees and to give more representation to other minority groups across its platform too. He especially believes that certain areas like harassment, account verification, algorithmic bias, and content distribution on Instagram need to improve for the sake of Black users and employees.

This kind of racial justice movement by Facebook and Instagram holds a special significance and will become a torch-bearer for other apps too.



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