This Facebook Bot Was Designed to Help You Identify Your Unconscious Biases

MEC wants users to question their assumptions

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You might not realize it, but everyone has unconscious biases. They are "hard-wired into our brains," according to MEC Global. If you visit the agency's Facebook page this week you'll have the chance to converse with a bot that wants to teach you all it knows about your unconscious biases.

For those who sign up to participate in the experience, the bot will send users a message each day this week, covering a different topic every day. For Monday the bot tells users to "Be brave enough to question your assumptions. Get into the habit of taking a moment to pause and ask yourself 'Why am I thinking this way?'"

Other tips include being brave enough to own it, being brave enough to focus on the individual, being brave enough to be uncomfortable and being brave enough to help someone.

With each tip the bot also sends a link to an Implicit-Association Test, which will hopefully help people understand and confront their different biases across a range of categories including gender, age and race. The first test tackles gender and takes roughly 10 minutes to complete.

"We're very much using it to engage people, sending them interesting tips every day," Zoe Aresti, global marketing manager at MEC, said.

The goal is that users will not only engage with the Facebook bot on their own time and take the different tests, but hopefully share the tips with friends and co-workers.

"Our industry in this area shouldn't be competing, we should be sharing our information. The more ideas that you can get out there that people can try, the better," Marie-Claire Barker, chief talent officer at MEC, said.


MEC first launched the Brave Your Bias initiative in September during Advertising Week in New York with the idea of helping the industry confront their own biases. Throughout that week, MEC set up shop outside of the Times Center

"We didn't want the Brave Your Bias activity to be a one-off event. We want it to be an initiative that will help people change how they make decisions on people. It really is a call to action," Barker added.

@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.