Pinterest has gained a new search tool that allows you to categorize results according to your skin tone. When searching for content of beauty and well-being, the platform displays images that can be filtered with a click on a new color menu at the top. The measure occurs after the company identifies that about 70% of searches on the site are for the purpose of finding makeup tips. Pinterest plans to categorize beauty content in a more specific way so that, in the future, all skin tones have a similar content volume. The novelty was released in Beta and is not available to everyone yet.
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Pinterest lana skin tone filter for searches on the social network Photo: Divulgao / Pinterest
The new tool also intends to serve as an impetus to increase the representativeness of the content displayed on the website. Wired, Pinterest's head of diversity Candice Morgan said the new filter was inspired by a personal experience. According to her, although the suggestions in the feed were in accordance with her profile beauty tips for black women, the results of the manual search showed mostly white women.
Wired also mentions a Brazilian study, by the Federal University of Minas Gerais, on how algorithms can reinforce racist ideas. The numbers raised by this research show that 80% of searches on Google and Bing engines with the term beautiful women result in pictures of white women. Thus, the new Pinterest feature aims to categorize people not by their race, but by their skin tone. The website brought together a spectrum of 16 different shades for this.
According to Pinterest, an algorithm trained with machine learning responsible for analyzing the photos and performing the filtering correctly. The robot can understand the effect that light conditions have on the skin so as not to confuse, for example, a white woman under the shade with a black woman. According to Pinterest, skin tone search information will not be used to feed ad networks. In other words, searches made with the tool will not determine the advertising seen by the user on the site.