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Netflix does make posters of colour.

By bird_lovegod | 23 October 18 12:54pm | Ethical Business and Money

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You’ve probably seen the reports that Netflix has been displaying posters featuring black people for films that don’t really have that many black people in them.

Here: https://news.sky.com/story/netflix-deceiving-black-users-with-creepy-posters-11531429

Here: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/oct/20/netflix-film-black-viewers-personalised-marketing-target

Here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-45939044

Netflix response to these accusations is always the same. 

Netflix said: “We don’t ask members for their race, gender or ethnicity so we cannot use this information to personalise their individual Netflix experience. The only information we use is a member’s viewing history.”

That’s right. So maybe it works a bit like this: If you view films that Netflix determines are for a ‘black audience’ it determines you like ‘black cast films.’ It then suggests more films to you with a black cast. BUT what it also does is show you posters for films that have been generated deliberately in advance by human beings not an algorithm which show the black cast members, even if they are only side parts. 

This is the slightly perturbing bit. Netflix must have decided to pre prepare ‘black cast’ posters for films. The algorithm doesn’t create and design those posters. People do. Its algorithm then shows these posters to people who have an inclination to watch films that are deemed to be for a ‘black appreciating audience’ , or however they choose to word it.

It’s just a bit strange that they would’ve thought to do that. That’s all. Seems crass.

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