Wired – September 25, 2018 A new diversity web page on Facebook has some bugs.
The page, dubbed Diversity Web, was supposed to show how different demographics and racial and gender identities are represented on the social network, but its current version seems to be riddled with inaccuracies and errors.
The diversity web pages on the platform are supposed to provide a “diverse and inclusive” environment for users to express themselves on Facebook, with a goal to help “increase diversity on our platform and in our communities.”
But in practice, the page shows the diversity of the users on Facebook as an uneven spectrum of “a very small number of people” who are also “representatives of many other ethnicities.”
The Diversity Web pages are meant to “show diversity on Facebook,” and it’s “important to remember that the diversity on the diversity webpages is not a perfect representation of the diversity in the world,” says Alex Marlow, a member of the Facebook Diversity team.
“Some people represent all the ethnicities on Facebook in a very, very small percentage of their population,” Marlow told the Daily Dot.
Users can access a number of the Diversity Web sites by going to the “Edit” menu on their profile.
Some of the pages include the user’s name and an avatar, but the profile of someone using the Diversity web page looks completely different than a user who is a member in good standing of the page.
For example, users can access the page of a “person of color” who is not black, Latino, or Asian, Marlow said.
But the Diversity pages show a “very small percentage” of users as “white, male, straight, cisgender, straight Asian, cis, gay, bi, trans, and so on,” Marrow wrote in an email.
A Diversity page with an avatar showing a “white male, cis white male, trans white cis white cis cis cis white, trans and so forth” is not exactly the same as a page with the user listed as “black, brown, brown Asian, black, Asian American, black female, black Asian, Asian, white, Asian-American, Asian female, Asian male, Asian man, Asian woman, Asian women, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Pacific islander, Hawaiian, Filipino, Filipino-American.”
Marlow says that the page is currently in “internal testing,” but it’s not clear when the page will be fixed.
It’s not the first time that Facebook has seen some problems with its diversity web sites.
In April, Facebook users reported that the Diversity website displayed a black woman as white on the page, which had an avatar of a white man.
Facebook said at the time that the issue had been addressed, and the page had been redesigned to show a user’s avatar in a different color.
Marlow told the New York Times that the redesigns have been “very, very difficult,” adding that the team has “no intention of putting the diversity team back in a position where they’re not as engaged.”
In a statement to the Daily Advertiser, Facebook said that the company has “always done our part to make our community as inclusive as possible.”
“The diversity team is working on the redesign to improve the site,” the statement said.
“We have made many improvements in recent months and are continuing to make improvements as we continue to add more people.”
It also said that “in light of these ongoing efforts, we are no longer updating our site to include a diversity page.”
Marrlow told The Daily Dot that he has since been able to access the new Diversity web pages, and that he is “surprised at how poorly they look.”