US civil rights activists fight for equal job opportunities on social media
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed charges against Facebook over discriminatory job ads. The US civil rights activists argue that Facebook is unlawfully discriminating on the basis of gender by targeting their job ads on Facebook to male Facebook users only, excluding all women and non-binary users from receiving the ads. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is looking through the charges now.
Millions of women affected
“Sex segregated job advertising has historically been used to shut women out of well-paying jobs and economic opportunities,” said Galen Sherwin, Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. “We can’t let gender-based ad targeting online give new life to a form of discrimination that should have been eradicated long ago.”
The problem lies with social media networks like Facebook, that allows its ad partners advertise to specific groups based on their age, gender or ethnicity.
“We can’t let this archaic form of discrimination continue to take hold. […] The case is brought on behalf of three job seekers and the Communications Workers of America on behalf of a proposed class of millions of job applicants.” says Sherman.
“strictly prohibited in our policies”
In an emailed statement, Facebook spokesperson Joe Osborne said to The Verge that discrimination is “strictly prohibited in our policies”. He goes on saying: “over the past year, we’ve strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse.” Osborne added, “We are reviewing the complaint and look forward to defending our practices.”
Just a month ago Facebook had to remove 5,000 ad targeting categories to prevent discriminatory advertising their platforms. Here Facebook also received complaints about discriminatory ads excluding specific ethnic groups or religions.