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Twitter shares fall as CEO admits algorithms weren’t always “impartial”

Twitter shares fell in the US Wednesday, after the social media platform’s CEO Jack Dorsey, admitted before the US Senate that its algorithms weren’t always fair.

Answering questions from US lawmakers, Dorsey said that his platform unfairly reduced the visibility of some 600,000 accounts. He added that the algorithm in question, has been changed.

Twitter shares ended the US Wednesday trading session 6.06% lower at $32.73. the stock is currently higher in after-hours activity.

Twitter admits to ‘unfair’ algorithm

During a hearing before the senate, over accusations of social media platform ‘meddling’ in the 2016 US election, Dorsey answered questions ahead of Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg.

However, Dorsey’s revelations over twitter’s algorithm proved to be among the most interesting details of the hearing, so far.

Twitter has been accused of ‘shadow-banning’ some users on its platform. This is where users’ tweets are left out of search results, due to certain algorithms which assess and rank the responses to each search performed by other users.

Twitter’s CEO said that before the algorithm in question was changed, Twitter users could be punished for the actions of their followers.

“It was unfair”, Dorsey said. “We corrected it”.

“We do not shadow-ban anyone based on political ideology,” he added.

Serving public conversation

At the beginning of the testimony, Dorsey shared his prepared opening remarks.

“Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation. We are an American company that serves our global audience by focusing on the people who use our service, and we put them first in every step we take,” he said in his statement.

“Today, I hope my testimony before the Committee will demonstrate the challenges that we are tackling as a global platform…. We know the way earn more trust around how we make decisions on our platform is to be as transparent as possible,” Dorsey said.

Social media platforms remain under pressure to be more transparent about the way they work. They are also continuing to answer questions over their roles in major voting events and how they could have affected the end result.

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