Facebooked added that if used responsibly, age-based targeting is accepted practice and helps employers find the right kind of people.
Now there's debate over whether that violates the 1968 Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
Before it runs a campaign, Facebook also requires advertisers to certify that they understand the law and won't use its tools to place discriminatory ads. "They may have an obligation there not to aid and abet an ad that enables discrimination", said Cliff Palefsky, a San Francisco employment lawyer added. Over the past year, the public interest watchdog has reported on anti-Semitic targeting categories available on the platform, how real estate marketers could suppress audiences by ethnicity and politically-charged Facebook ads that were chock full of malware.
The complaint read as, "This pattern or practice of discrimination denies job opportunities to individuals who are searching for and interested in jobs, reduces the number of older workers who apply for jobs with the offending employers and employment agencies, and depresses the number of older workers who are hired".
United States law forbids discrimination in employment based on age, race, gender and other legally protected characteristics. A new investigation released today revealed that the company also allows advertisers potentially to discriminate by age. "Upon further review we realized that some of the ads presented do not, so we've removed them", a Facebook spokesperson said.
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Once that is agreed, IMPACT says, it intends to "move on to negotiate substantial issues around pilots' pay and working conditions".
A lawsuit filed by a communications industry labor union on Wednesday unveiled that Several U.S. employers engaged in age discrimination putting recruitment ads on Facebook and targeting younger workers. Amazon said it had "corrected" those ads, and LinkedIn even changed its tools to explicitly try and prevent age discrimination. "What matters is that marketing is broadly based and inclusive, not simply focused on a particular age group", he wrote in the statement.
Amazon, T-Mobile and hundreds of other companies are discriminating against older workers by limiting the audience for their Facebook advertisements to only reach younger users, according to a massive proposed class action filed in California federal court on Wednesday.
Facebook's ability to drill down when targeting ads has shown to be too good in some instances.
Targeted ads on Facebook were a big tool used in the efforts by Russians to influence the US election in 2016. An ad featuring a millennial would be targeted at a millennial, for example, while an ad targeting someone older than 40 might include a person with salt-and-pepper hair. Anyone can buy Teen Vogue and see an ad. Online, however, people outside the targeted age groups can be excluded in ways they will never learn about.
What he did not see was a single ad for a job in his profession, including one identified by ProPublica that was being shown to younger users: a posting for a social media director job at HubSpot.