On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a complaint to the US Equal Opportunities Commission (EEOC) against Facebook. He claims that the platform's ad options allow for gender-based ads.
"Facebook has created and benefited from a powerful tool that distinguishes women and non-men in job applications," the complaint states.
The ACLU's complaint was filed on behalf of three job seekers when they discovered that advertisements for jobs considered male, such as engineer, technician and security officer, are not being displayed on their timeline.
How does the Facebook ad targeting system work?
Before an ad is published, Facebook allows advertisers to choose who can see their ad by adjusting their audience to a particular age group, gender, and location. Therefore, ads can be modified to exclude certain demographic (social) groups.
The ACLU's complaint states 10 different employers, who were found to have excluded all women. One of these companies was Rice Tire, which allegedly published advertisements targeting only young men, and excluded all women.
Let's say this is not the first time that Facebook's ad targeting options have been condemned. Last month the company announced it would remove more than 5.000 ad features in an effort to prevent advertisers from discriminating against users in relation to religion or nationality.
This complaint was filed with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and said Facebook's Facebook ad targeting tools could be used to prevent people from viewing certain races, religions, and marital status.
At a time when there are conflicts in the company's relationship with the public and with governments, Facebook has no choice but to update the practice of targeting its ads. Although the ACLU complaint only refers to 10 cases, the role played by Facebook in blocking certain demographic groups from job ads is obvious.
The "unfortunate" thing is that the company has not already taken the necessary measures to correct its policy before this complaint.
Image (edited) TheVerge