Article by Bryan Howard
September 4, 2018
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey firm’s defense to allegations of anti-conservative bias on its platform.In prepared testimony to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce .
“Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules. We believe strongly in being impartial, and we strive to enforce our rules impartially,” he says.
Dorsey continues: “We do not shadowban anyone based on political ideology. In fact, from a simple business perspective and to serve the public conversation, Twitter is incentivized to keep all voices on the platform.”
Dorsey Continued to talk about the algorithm and the “behavioral signals” to determine how tweets are organized and presented in users’ timelines. This includes, for example, analyzing how accounts interact with each one another, which can be used to identify spam and abuse.
“The behavioral ranking that Twitter utilizes does not consider in any way political views or ideology. It focuses solely on the behavior of all accounts,” Dorsey says. “We use thousands of behavioral signals in our behavior-based ranking models this ensures that no one signal drives the ranking outcomes and protects against malicious attempts to manipulate our ranking systems.”
“Despite the success we are seeing with our use of algorithms to combat abuse, manipulation, and bad faith actors, we recognize that even a model created without deliberate bias may nevertheless result in biased outcomes,” he says. “Bias can happen inadvertently due to many factors, such as the quality of the data used to train our models. In addition to ensuring that we are not deliberately biasing the algorithms, it is our responsibility to understand, measure, and reduce these accidental biases. This is an extremely complex challenge in our industry, and algorithmic fairness and fair machine learning are active and substantial research topics in the machine learning community.”
Jack Dorsey will be having his House hearing on Wednesday and we will see how he holds up against scrutiny!