Twitter Under Fire for ‘Misgendering’ Millions of Users to Advertisers
It’s no secret that companies scrutinize their customers’ online habits, drawing inferences for targeted advertising. Last week, Twitter announced a new transparency tool seeking to demystify the process—and promptly found itself under fire for “cissexism” and “egregious rhetorical violence” against transgender, non-binary, and gender-fluid and gender-nonconforming users.
Like many tech companies that cull data about users’ activity and use machine learning to gain insights, Twitter develops individualized profiles to make ads better fit the unique interests and needs of its users. Those individual profiles include Twitter’s guesses about users’ age range, languages, preferred mobile phones—and, controversially, gender.
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