Facebook has been accused of gender and age discrimination relating to its targeted job advertising practices. In a report released in September 2021 by nonprofit group Global Witness describing an investigation into Facebook’s ad targeting algorithm, the social media giant “appears to operate in a discriminatory manner,” according to the group.
Global Witness, based in the UK, tested the company by creating two intentionally-discriminatory job advertisements. One ad targeted excluding women and the other excluded people over age 55. Facebook approved both ads—which went against the company’s own anti-discrimination policy. The group later ran additional job ad tests where Facebook’s algorithm selected the intentionally targeted groups. An ad for mechanic jobs was targeted by Facebook to men 96% of the time, while 95% of the people shown an ad for preschool nurse jobs were women.
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