Last year Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went to trial about the social media platform’s advertising practices.
Throughout the trial, it was discovered that Facebook users’ home, job, and credit information were being used by advertisers to target users based on age, gender, and zip code, according to The Verge.
Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of age and race in the workplace and job advertisements.
In a March 2019 legal settlement with civil rights groups, Facebook agreed to ban advertisers from using some targeting options for potentially discriminatory ads, reports The Verge.
However, research at The Markup discovered that Facebook still allows advertisers to use discriminatory advertisement practices. For example, a health care agency in Wisconsin targeted a job posting specifically to those with “African American multicultural affinity“ under the age of 54, a job post searching for mechanics was shown to men 13 times more than women, and a summer job ad for high school students was targetted nine times more to women than men.
After Facebook’s 2019 settlement, the company started requiring advertisers to accept an agreement promising not to discriminate and promised to research bias in its algorithms, reports The Markup.
After recent reports, the company has tightened its ad guidelines and removed certain demographic targeting choices — like a person’s “multicultural affinity — from ads’ menu of options.
Now that Facebook has reportedly tightened up, hopefully, users won’t run into this issue again.