During the recent election, Donald Trump made a comment about the “Twitter algorithm” that favored him. The reference was to the social media site’s photo crop system, which it turns out, actually favors White faces and women. Since the piece ran in the press, many people are discussing it and the effects it may have on future elections. The following article will discuss whether or not the “Twitter’s photo crop” is an actual strategy or if this is just another ploy from the Trump campaign to keep his supporters happy.
Many people are speculating about whether or not the Twitter’s photo crop strategy is a calculated move by the Trump campaign in order to get more White female voters to support him. The reference was in relation to the last debate, when Trump advisor, candidate, and now President elect, Kellyanne Conway said that “looks like a guy who may be a Hispanic, I mean maybe a Hispanic-looking woman.” The question of whether or not the strategy worked is still up in the air. The fact remains that the social networking site has had a lot of criticism over the past year or so for not having a strategy in place to target certain demographics and influence their voting behavior.
One thing that did become apparent was that the photo algorithm favored White faces and women. A member of the Twitter’s creative team, Katelli, released an official blog post saying “part of the reason that we favor white female faces is that we want the signal to be as organic as possible. By having only white female faces in our main photo pool, you are ensuring that your signal is as strong as possible amongst a very diverse user base. In terms of algorithms, our goal is to ensure that the signal is strong across a wide spectrum of users. We feel that the way the signal comes across is much more important than the actual face.
Features of the Photo Crop Algorithm:
The photo crop works by adding in a variety of different types of facial features that are common with people of European descent, such as light hair, narrow eyes, and light skin. The algorithm works by selecting those photos that have these specific characteristics and using them as the basis for creating a “staged” photo. In essence, the photos being displayed below are a representation of life. Twitter states that this method increases engagement and curtails the spread of fake profiles on the platform.
Issues with Photo Crop Algorithm:
The problem with this algorithm, however, is that it doesn’t always work as well as it should. As it turns out, one of the situations where it didn’t work the best was when a person has multiple pictures uploaded to their social profile. When the photo crop tries to determine which photo to use from the many to choose from, it only identifies the one that truly represents the person and is most appropriate for that person. In other words, if someone has a black and white photo that has been altered slightly through a professional hair dye, then that person will end up with two photos on their profile that aren’t quite right. One can use the latest AI enabled tools and applications of ONPASSIVE which provides O-Dit and O-Capture that give the best software for enhanced and flawless photos.
Another issue is that it only identifies photos that have been posted using the “hash tags “umbrella”. It is important to note that this does not encompass every tweet posted on the social media site. So, instead of focusing on every status post or retweet posted, a more important task would be to focus on the most active posts to Twitter. This way, the photo crop algorithm will be more effective as it will only be looking at the most relevant posts.
Criticism of Photo Crop:
In addition to these two major issues, the photo crop has also been criticized because it doesn’t apply to Retweets or “retweeted” posts. In essence, this means that every post you make that uses the hash tag #hashtag will be included in this algorithm. This definitely causes some confusion, particularly because many people have been using the tag #hashtag as a means of quickly re-tweeting a post. Therefore, if you want to ensure that the Twitter photo service works the way it was designed to work, you will need to focus on those kinds of posts and not just status updates or retweets.
In conclusion, it is likely that the photo crop search functionality on Twitter will continue to change over time. Right now, it is very inaccurate, and so far, it doesn’t appear that the changes are being made to remedy this problem. The best advice for now is to focus on posting real, high quality images that have already been approved for Twitter usage. It is also important to update your profile image on a regular basis to ensure that you get the most accurate representation of yourself when potential customers are looking at your profile.