Incident 47: LinkedIn Search Prefers Male Names
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In 2016, an investigation by the Seattle Times found that the LinkedIn search engine feature potentially possessed gender bias, as the LinkedIn search function would present any male users before female users when users would search for names that possess both male and female profiles. In addition, when a user would search a female name, a prompt would ask if the user was searching for the male equivalent of the name. The same did not occur when searching the 100 most common male names.
An investigation by The Seattle Times in 2016 found a gender bias in LinkedIn's search engine.
Harm Distribution Basis
AI System Description
Linkedin uses search engines trained on and guided by relative frequencies of words appearing in past queries and member profiles
Sector of Deployment
Information and communication
Relevant AI functions
Perception, Cognition, Action
Machine learning, natural language processing model
recommendation engine, decision support
LinkedIn, The Seattle Times, Microsoft
words appearing in user past queries and member profiles
LinkedIn says its suggested results are generated automatically by an analysis of the tendencies of past searchers.
Search for a female contact on LinkedIn, and you may get a curious result. The professional networking website asks if you m…
– Search for a female contact on LinkedIn, and you might get a curious result. The professional networking website asks if you meant to search for a similar-looking man's name.
A search for "Stephanie Williams," for example, brings up a pr…
Until Sep. 7, LinkedIn users searching for female contacts on the site may have noticed some strange results. Searches for common female names were yielding suggestions for male names as well.
Take a LinkedIn search for “Stephanie Williams.…
MOTTO Samantha Cooney is the content strategy editor at TIME.
A week after the Seattle Times reported that LinkedIn’s search engine may reflect a gender bias, the networking platform announced a tweak to its search algorithm.
The Times repo…
The question of whether a computer can be biased or not may seem frivolous, but it could make all the difference when it comes to being found online.
Now, an investigation by a US newspaper has suggested that this bias may be present on the…
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption LinkedIn launched in 2002
LinkedIn has denied that its search algorithm has been biased towards suggesting male versions of female names in searches on its website.
A Seattle Times investigation fo…
Have you ever searched for a contact on LinkedIn only to have the networking site automatically prompt you to look up a man with a similar name? You're not alone. A recent investigation by the Seattle Times revealed a pervasive gender bias …
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