Redesign Dating Apps to reduce Racial Bias, Study Recommends

Redesign Dating Apps to reduce Racial Bias, Study Recommends

Cellphone dating apps that enable users to filter their queries by battle – or depend on algorithms that pair up individuals of the same race – reinforce racial divisions and biases, based on a unique paper by Cornell scientists.

The authors said as more and more relationships begin online, dating and hookup apps should discourage discrimination by offering users categories other than race and ethnicity to describe themselves, posting inclusive community messages, and writing algorithms that don’t discriminate.

“Serendipity is lost whenever individuals have the ability to filter others out,” said Jevan Hutson ‘16, M.P.S. ’17, lead composer of “Debiasing Desire: handling Bias and Discrimination on Intimate Platforms,” co-written with Jessie G. Taft ’12, M.P.S. ’18, an investigation coordinator at Cornell Tech, and Solon Barocas and Karen Levy, associate professors of data science. “Dating platforms are able to disrupt specific social structures, you lose those advantages if you have design features that enable one to eliminate those who are unique of you.”

The paper, that the authors will show in the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing on Nov. 6, cites existing research on discrimination in dating apps to exhibit exactly how easy design choices could decrease bias against individuals of all marginalized teams, including disabled or transgender individuals. Although partner choices are really individual, the writers argue that tradition forms our preferences, and dating apps influence our choices.

“It’s actually an unprecedented time for dating and meeting on line. More and more people are utilizing these apps, and they’re critical infrastructures that don’t get plenty of attention in terms of bias and discrimination,” said Hutson, now students in the University of Washington class of Law. “Intimacy is extremely private, and rightly therefore, but our personal life have actually effects on bigger socioeconomic habits which are systemic.”

Fifteen per cent of Americans report making use of online dating sites, plus some research estimates that a 3rd of marriages – and 60 % of same-sex relationships – started on line. (more…)

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