Facebook announced on Friday that it has disabled a topic recommendation function that mistakenly associated black men with “primates” in a video posted on the social network.
A company spokesman called the situation a “clearly unacceptable error” and said the recommendations software, based on artificial intelligence, had been disconnected.
“We apologize to anyone who has seen these offensive recommendations,” replied Facebook, after being contacted by AFP.
“We disabled the topic recommendation function as soon as we realized what was happening, so we can investigate the cause and prevent it from happening again,” added Facebook.
The facial recognition program has been severely criticized by civil rights advocates, who point to accuracy issues, especially with regard to non-white people.
In recent days, Facebook users have seen a video aired by a sensational British newspaper and starring black men, and received an automatically generated warning asking if they wanted to “continue to receive videos about primates,” according to The New York Times newspaper. .
Darci Groves, former director of content design at Facebook, shared a screenshot that showed the recommendation.
“This question about whether people want to ‘keep getting’ is unacceptable,” tweeted Groves. “This is atrocious”.
Translation by Paulo Migliacci