Facebook AI puts 'primates' label on video of Black men, in what firm calls 'unacceptable' error
The news comes as social networks grapple with racist content and critics attack automated systems over bias.
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Facebook users who recently watched a video featuring Black men were served an automated prompt that asked if they'd like to "keep seeing videos about Primates," a mistake the social network called "unacceptable" in statements to news outlets.
The video, posted last June by UK tabloid The Daily Mail, shows Black men in disputes with white police officers and civilians, The New York Times reported late Friday. Facebook apologized for the prompt and said it's disabled the AI-powered feature and is investigating to ensure the problem doesn't reoccur.
"As we have said, while we have made improvements to our A.I., we know it's not perfect, and we have more progress to make. We apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations," Facebook said in a statement sent to media organizations.
The news comes as Facebook and other social media companies continue struggling to address concerns that they're not adequately tackling racism on their sites. Earlier this year, Facebook, Twitter and others were criticized for failing to stop anti-Asian hate on their platforms amid the coronavirus pandemic. Sites were also censured in July for not shutting down racist abuse after England's loss in the Euro Cup final.