EXCLUSIVE! LinkedIn denies gender bias claim over site search

EXCLUSIVE! LinkedIn denies gender bias claim over site search


LinkedIn has denied that its search algorithm was biased towards implying male versions of female names in searches on its site.

At least a dozen of the most common female names in the US were affected.

LinkedIn has upgraded its algorithm to avoid proposing alternate names.

Before the upgrade, searches for 100 of the most common male names in the US failed to result in prompts indicating female variants of those names, the Seattle Times said.

‘Not gender associated’

“The search algorithm is guided by relative frequencies of words appearing in previous queries and member profiles, it isn’t anything to do [with] sex.”

A fix had been rolled out to “explicitly recognise people’s names” so that alternate names – of the same or an alternative sex – wouldn’t be proposed, she included.

Microsoft announced that it’d purchase LinkedIn for $26.2bn (£19.6bn) in June.

Social network algorithms have faced much scrutiny over alleged traces of prejudice lately.

Last month, Facebook passed its Trending feature – which advocates on-line content – after some complained that it was biased towards leftwing stories.