During a congressional hearing on Tuesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey finally admitted that his company’s algorithm has been “unfair.” That’s a really nice way of putting it, huh? Unfair.
For years now, conservatives have complained about being shadow-banned for sharing their political beliefs and for engaging in debate with those who hold to different worldviews. Shadow-banning is when a user’s content is removed from people’s feeds without that individual being made aware of it, thus serving as a kind of “ban.”
In reference to the so-called “shadow-banning” of some 600,000 accounts, which included some members of Congress, Dorsey acknowledged that the platform’s “quality filter” had suppressed the visibility of accounts using parameters that unfairly impacted some users.Advertisement - story continues below
Though he was “unable to immediately say whether a majority of them were Republican, Democratic or otherwise,” BBC notes, Dorsey acknowledged in the hearing that the platform had reduced the visibility of hundreds of thousands accounts using an algorithm that was “unfair” but, he stressed, has since been “corrected.”
Dorsey has come under increased pressure from conservatives, Republicans, and now the Department of Justice, who point to an apparent pattern of politically biased handling of users by the platform that has punished those on the right.Trending:
Dorsey, however, denied that his company makes “any decisions” based on political ideology. “We do not shadow-ban anyone based on political ideology,” he said, BBC reports.
“Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules,” he insisted.Advertisement - story continues below
The complex algorithm incorporates hundreds of factors in determining which accounts to filter out or “down-rank,” said Dorsey; included among those signals was the behavior of an account’s followers, which ended up negatively impacting some users in what Dorsey described as an “unfair” way.
Republicans who pressed Dorsey on the issue made sure to mention that the social media platform’s rules were a bit fuzzy and unclear, a fact that Dorsey himself acknowledged and stated was a problem.
Dorsey recently made an announcement that Twitter was about to undergo significant changes that will influence user behavior. During an interview he gave to the Washington Post, Dorsey stated that he wanted to reduce “echo chambers” by making certain improvements to the “incentives” built into the platform.
After the Senate Intelligence Committee meeting that was held on Wednesday, the Justice Department announced a meeting will take place in September with state attorneys general over the issue of tech companies “intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas.”
Source: Daily Wire