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Facebook's Ad Algorithms Still Excluding Women from Seeing Jobs


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Image of a woman being excluded from a search.

An audit conducted by independent researchers at the University of Southern California found that Facebooks ad-delivery system shows different job ads to women and men, even though the jobs require the same qualifications.

Credit: Ms Tech/Pexels

Facebook is withholding certain job ads from women because of their gender, according to the latest audit of its ad service.

The audit, conducted by independent researchers at the University of Southern California (USC), reveals that Facebook's ad-delivery system shows different job ads to women and men even though the jobs require the same qualifications. This is considered sex-based discrimination under US equal employment opportunity law, which bans ad targeting based on protected characteristics. The findings come despite years of advocacy and lawsuits, and after promises from Facebook to overhaul how it delivers ads.

The researchers registered as an advertiser on Facebook and bought pairs of ads for jobs with identical qualifications but different real-world demographics. They advertised for two delivery driver jobs, for example: one for Domino's (pizza delivery) and one for Instacart (grocery delivery). There are currently more men than women who drive for Domino's, and vice versa for Instacart.

From MIT Technology Review
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