Twitter bug bounty scheme revealed; you can be a bounty hunter too, win $3,500
Twitter bug bounty programme wants normal users, and not just bug bounty hunters, to participate and win money.
A Twitter bug bounty programme has just been revealed. However, bug bounty hunters should note that instead of finding flaws and vulnerabilities in Twitter software, what they need to do is something that is totally different. This time, instead of paying hundreds of dollars to researchers to uncover and solve these ‘security biases', Twitter has decided to offer a cash ‘bounty' to not just bug bounty hunters and researchers, but also to normal users in order to help root out problem issues in its image-cropping algorithm. and this is in the form of a contest. A bit of recent history, first. A couple of months ago, in April, Twitter came out and said that it would study potential “unintentional harms” created by its algorithms, beginning with its image-cropping one.
This algorithm was rolled out in 2018 and was created in an attempt to focus on the most interesting parts of images in previews. Unfortunately, it did not function quite as well as Twitter hoped. In fact, Twitter got trolled for its pains. Some users criticized how Twitter handled automated cropping and how the algorithm focused on lighter-skinned subjects in photos. They said it found the algorithm delivered "unequal treatment based on demographic differences," with white people and males favored over Black people and females, and "objectification" bias that focused on a woman's chest or legs, described as "male gaze."
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Now, Twitter has just posted this in its blog by Rumman Chowdhury and Jutta Williams, "In May, we shared our approach to identifying bias in our saliency algorithm (also known as our image cropping algorithm), and we made our code available for others to reproduce our work." They added, "We want to take this work a step further by inviting and incentivizing the community to help identify potential harms of this algorithm beyond what we identified ourselves."
The Twitter blog also said, "As part of this year's DEF CON AI Village, we're trying something radical by introducing the industry's first algorithmic bias bounty competition."
This Twitter bug bounty programe may be different, but it is is based on the "bug bounty" schemes some websites and platforms offer to find security vulnerabilities.
In its blog post, Twitter wrote, "Finding bias in machine learning models is difficult, and sometimes, companies find out about unintended ethical harms once they've already reached the public." To change that, Twitter said that it cannot do it on its own and would need the help of the wider user community. It added that, for their help in identifying these issues, people should be rewarded.
Twitter will announce the winners on August 8th.
Winners will receive cash prizes via HackerOne:
$3,500 1st Place
$1,000 2nd Place
$500 3rd Place
$1,000 for Most Innovative
$1,000 for Most Generalizable (i.e., applies to the most types of algorithms)
The Twitter bug bounty challenge will be open for entries from July 30, 2021 to August 6, 2021.