Twitter launches bug bounty programme to expose image-cropping algorithm biases

The San Francisco based social media giant said that it is going to offer a bounty prize to researchers and users to detect and abolish the algorithm bias from the Twitter app. This bounty was offered by the company to researchers to assist in eliminating the algorithmic bias and the company stated that this is going to be the first bounty competition to eliminate algorithmically biased defaults in the Twitter social media app. The company has offered a bounty prize worth $3,500 or 2.6 lakhs.

The Company’s executives Rumman Chowdhury and Jutta Williams via a blog post extended their gratitude and introduced the bounty competition. 

We’re grateful to HackerOne and AI Village for their support in facilitating the bounty challenge. The challenge will be open for entries from July 30, 2021, 9:01 am PT to August 6, 2021, 11:59 pm PT. All participants must enroll with HackerOne to make a valid submission; anyone with a HackerOne account may participate in this challenge.

Twitter

Twitter says this competition is organized by the company so that researchers and users can help the company to find the flaws and voids in the social media app. The hacker bounty competition pledged to find out the algorithmic bias. The company will not only pay researchers but will also award those who spot out undisclosed bias in the image cropping algorithm. 

Twitter started using the image cropping algorithm in 2018, the major reason for using the algorithm was to simply focus on the fascinating part of an image, however, users were unhappy with how Twitter handled the algorithm. So, the company back in April worked on spotting the unintentional harm the image cropping algorithm was creating. 

In May, we shared our approach to identifying bias in our saliency algorithm (also known as our image cropping algorithm), and we made our code available for others to reproduce our work. We want to make this work a step further by inviting and incentivizing the community to help identify the potential harms of this algorithm beyond what we identified ourselves.

Twitter

The executives believe that with the help of users and researchers they can resolve the issue effectively. In may they found out how the algorithm bias dominated white people over black and males over females and the company wants to eradicate this discrimination. 

Those who contribute to identifying issues in the algorithm will win six awards at the DEF CON AI Village workshop hosted by Twitter on August 8th. 

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Saloni Sharma

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