Facebook on Friday issued an apology after its AI software labeled Black men “primates” in a video featured on the social media network.
The New York Times first reported the story. A Facebook spokesperson told the publication that it was a “clearly unacceptable error,” and said the recommendation software involved had been disabled.
“We disabled the entire topic recommendation feature as soon as we realised this was happening so we could investigate the cause and prevent this from happening again,” the spokesperson said.
In a statement to the publication, Facebook said: “We apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations.”
The offensive terminology related to a video, dated June 27, 2020, which was posted by The Daily Mail. The clip was titled “white man calls cops on black men at marina,” and featured Black men in disputes with white police officers and civilians.
Facebook users who watched the video received an automated prompt asking if they would like to “keep seeing videos about Primates,” according to The New York Times.