Domestic Society
23:22 11 April 2021
Post by: WBJ

Facebook’s ad algorithms still excluding women from seeing jobs

Facebook’s ad algorithms still excluding women from seeing jobs
Source: Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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.

Though no audience was specified on the basis of demographic information, a feature Facebook disabled for housing, credit, and job ads in March of 2019 after settling several lawsuits, algorithms still showed the ads to statistically distinct demographic groups. Domino’s ad was shown to more men than women, and the Instacart ad was shown to more women than men. The researchers found the same pattern with ads for two other pairs of jobs: software engineers for Nvidia (skewed male) and Netflix (skewed female), and sales associates for cars (skewed male) and jewelry (skewed female).

(MIT

facebook
women
algorithms
discrimination

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