On Saturday, user @bascule tweeted, “Trying a horrible experiment… Which will the Twitter algorithm pick: Mitch McConnell or Barack Obama?” Along with his words were two long, rectangular images. The first consisted of a picture of US Senate majority leader McConnell on the top, who is White, with a slender white rectangle in the middle, and a picture of former US President Obama, who is Black, at the bottom. The second featured the opposite, with Obama at the top and McConnell at the bottom. When a viewer looks at the tweet, a preview version of the images, which are side by side, shows just McConnell.
Some Twitter users are pointing out that the automatic method the platform employs to display previews of images may be biased toward showing pictures of white people. Twitter agreed the issues was something it needs to work on.