Technology 2 min read

Twitter to Let Users Crop Their Image Previews

Kon Karampelas /

Kon Karampelas /

Twitter‘s automatic image cropping system has been subject to criticism recently.

When you upload a photo to a tweet and publish it, the system automatically crops it to 600 pixels by 335 pixels. That’s standard practice irrespective of the image’s dimension.

While that’s not a problem, the section of an image that gets cropped is the issue. Since the platform crops images algorithmically, any part of the image could get cut off.

Twitter can choose to crop the top, bottom, or even the middle of an image, removing a considerable amount of detail in the process. This is especially true when the image is taller than they’re wide.

However, a series of repeatable tests suggest an alleged bias in what Twitter’s image previews keep.

According to reports, the social media platform‘s algorithm seems to focus on white faces more than black faces. Several examples with people in stock photos seem to support the claim.

Twitter executives in the company wrote in a blog post:

“While our analyses to date haven’t shown racial or gender bias, we recognize that the way we automatically crop photos means there is a potential for harm.”

Now, the social media platform is fixing the issue.

Twitter to Let Users Crop their Image Previews

Twitter says it’s working on a new way to give users control over the images they upload.

The platform is switching to a “what you see is what you get” principle of design. In other words, the images that you see in the Tweet composer is what it’ll look like in image previews.

With that said, Twitter points out that there are exceptions to this new development.

For example, images that aren’t standard size — that are really long or wide — are unlikely to maintain their look in the image preview. The social media platform admitted that more experiment is necessary to fix such cases.

Twitter wrote in its announcement.

“While no system can be completely free of bias, we’ll continue to minimize bias through deliberate and thorough analysis and share updates as we progress in this space.”

The company didn’t share the exact update that’ll roll out or when to expect it.

Read More: Twitter Users now Click Links Before Sharing Them

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