Twitter wants users to have more control over how a photo appears in the timeline, the company reports on its blog.
The company is thus responding to an experiment that showed that the algorithm that makes a crop may have a preference for white people.
The issue came to light after a Twitter user posted two photos of former President Barack Obama and US Senator Mitch McConnell, with a large white space in between.
In one photo Obama was on top and McConnell on the bottom and the other the other way around, but the algorithm chose to portray the senator in both cases.
Twitter design boss Dantley Davis previously assumed responsibility for the operation of the algorithm on behalf of the company.
Davis explains in the published blog post together with a colleague that the algorithm is based on what people look at first.
Earlier, he said that focusing on faces is problematic and that therefore Twitter does not.
“We recognize that the way we crop photos automatically can be harmful,” the Twitter executives write.
The social medium therefore wants to give users more control over how a crop is made.
“We are committed to following the design principle 'what you see is what you get', which simply means that the photo you see when you tweet will look like this in the tweet. There will be exceptions, such as photos that don't have a standard size or are very long or wide. In those cases we have to experiment. "
Algorithms themselves cannot be discriminatory, but their effect can have a discriminating effect.
It's up to programmers to make sure that doesn't happen.
See also: How algorithms learn to think in a discriminatory way (and how we solve it)