People React to Twitter Guessing Gender

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A new Twitter update revealed the social media site has been assuming users’ genders, and people are understandably upset.

According to BuzzFeed, a recent update that allows you to see more of the data Twitter has been collecting about you shows that the site has been assuming users’ genders based on the content in their profile.

“If you haven’t added a gender, this is the one most strongly associated with your account based on your profile and activity,” the site says, under the gender marker chosen for you. “This information won’t be displayed publicly.”

BuzzFeed points out that it’s not uncommon for companies to infer things about you like your age or your gender, and it’s often part of how sites target ads at you. There’s an option to edit the gender marker (which allows you to write in your own gender), but since your interest in Tweets can’t indicate your gender identity, people are obviously not very happy with the site’s methods.

The site also apparently lists some things you may be interested in based on the gender it assumes. This, BuzzFeed points out, is also not unique to Twitter — it’s something many sites do. Still, assuming someone’s interests based on gender is off base because we know that people of any gender can be interested in any thing.

Some have pointed out some of Twitter’s other issues in addition to calling out their gender assignments.

And while some are upset about the assumed gender, others are praising the site for allowing users to type in their own gender, instead of giving restricted options.

If you want to edit your gender on Twitter, head to settings and privacy, then choose “Your Twitter Data.” There, you can not only edit your gender, but see which interests Twitter has assumed fit you based on your social media activity.

Related: Social Media’s Effects on Mental Health Are Worse in the Summer



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