American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has just filed charges against social media giant Facebook. The reason ACLU filed charges against Facebook is due to alleged job ads that were discriminatory in nature. According to ACLU, these job ads only appeared to men which breaches the Civil Rights Act. The complaint claimed that Facebook allowed 10 employers to run these discriminatory job ads on its platform including a police department and a software developer. Giving us more details about the incident, ACLU pointed out that these ads were set to exclude women and “non-binary” users.
According to a detailed report by The Verge, ACLU wants Facebook to be held accountable for creating tools that allow employers to create such discriminatory ads on the platform. The report pointed out that the complaint is currently being filed with the federal agency by the name the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This commission is responsible for looking at charges related to discrimination in the workplace. ACLU is filing the charges while representing three women who claim that they were victims of discrimination. The report also pointed out that ACLU “hopes to cover ‘millions’ of women” on Facebook that were not able to see the job ads.
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ACLU also noted that gender-based discrimination was not the only thing here as “some employers” also aimed job ads based on the age which is illegal. According to the report, Joe Osborne, a spokesperson for Facebook issued a statement adding that such discrimination based on gender and age is “strictly prohibited”.
Facebook pointed out that it has worked to strengthen its systems in the last one year to protect against such misuse. The company added that it is currently reviewing the complaint. It is worth noting that this is not the first time that Facebook has come under fire for discriminatory ads on its platform.
Earlier, the company was investigated for allowing housing ads on the platform that excluded Facebook users based on their race and other factors. This moved the company to remove 5,000 categories that allowed advertisers to create ads excluding users based on religious, and ethnic minority groups.