Old need not apply: Companies sued for age discrimination in Facebook ads

People are silhouetted as they pose with mobile devices in front of a screen projected with a Facebook logo in this

The companies include Verizon, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, and Target which placed "recruitment ads limited to particular age groups".

The ability of advertisers to deliver their message to the precise audience most likely to respond is the cornerstone of Facebook's business model. "But using the system to expose job opportunities only to certain age groups has raised concerns about fairness to older workers", the report said on Wednesday.

Legal experts are now questioning whether Facebook is liable for helping the defendants potentially violate the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which prohibits bias against workers 40 or older who are seeking employment. San Francisco employment lawyer Cliff Palefsky, who isn't part of the CWA suit, said it's his opinion you don't even need to go as high as the national Employment Act to combat ageism.

Some companies defended their targeting as a part of a broader recruitment strategy that reached candidates of all ages.

The report found that some of the U.S.'s largest employers, such as Verizon Communications Inc. and Facebook itself, would target job ads to a very specific age category.

These revelations have surfaced during a time when unregulated power of the big tech companies has come under more scrutiny and Congress has weighed in whether it should limit immunity that it granted those tech companies back in 1996 for third party content appearing on their platforms. They seek an injunction to "stop America's leading companies from engaging in unlawful age discrimination".

Facebook this year launched a section of its platform devoted to job ads. Facebook, however, takes additional steps to explain to users why they are seeing an ad. According to the site, the move could also possibly Facebook in violation of other laws on both the state and local level which prohibit aiding or abetting age discrimination in employment.

"But in this case we disagree with ProPublica", Goldman wrote. Goldman says the differentiator is that marketing is "broadly based and inclusive", and that requirements for certain employers may involve age registrations that go both ways, like for summer employment, the military, or jobs meant to attract retirees. After being contacted by ProPublica, LinkedIn changed its system to prevent such targeting in employment ads.

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 COO Sheryl Sandberg - also of Jewish origin - later apologised, saying the company is now strengthening its ad policies.

Is enabling age targeting for online recruitment ads a form of discrimination? In a search for "part-time package handlers", United Parcel Service ran an ad aimed at people 18 to 24.

Related:

  • John Fox: 'Don't Really Want To Know The Stories' About Jerry Richardson

    John Fox: 'Don't Really Want To Know The Stories' About Jerry Richardson

    At 81, Richardson has controlled the team for almost a quarter-century, having bought the franchise when it was created in 1993. The Smiths recently lost out on the chance to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Charlotte in that league's expansion.
    Moyes unimpressed by shot-shy West Ham team

    Moyes unimpressed by shot-shy West Ham team

    WEST HAM forward Diafra Sakho was involved in a freakish row with David Moyes before the Arsenal Carabao Cup clash about his £50,000 bonus.
    Al Franken to officially leave US Senate seat on Jan. 2

    Al Franken to officially leave US Senate seat on Jan. 2

    Franken said before Wednesday that he would convey a progression of addresses on the Senate floor before he leaves the chamber. He also talked about public school education and his concerns about efforts to use taxpayer money for private school tuition.
  • 2 biggest reasons why older Apple iPhones become slow

    The effect was more pronounced with iOS 11.2 and was seen with the iPhone 7 as well, which was launched only previous year . Poole wrote: "The difference between 10.2.0 and 10.2.1 is too abrupt to be just a function of battery condition".
    Plane crash claims three lives

    Plane crash claims three lives

    Stephen Wheeles says the crash of the single-engine Cessna plane near Oldenburg, Indiana, also killed one dog aboard the craft. Officers arrived on scene and located the fire from the wreckage in a heavily wooded area behind a residence.
    Damian Green resignation letter in full

    Damian Green resignation letter in full

    Green had been under investigation after claims that "extreme" pornography had been found on his parliamentary computer in 2008. They praised their 31-year-old daughter for her courage in speaking out about the "abuse of authority".
  • Trump Commutes Sentence of Sholom Rubashkin

    Trump Commutes Sentence of Sholom Rubashkin

    He was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for his role in creating fake documents in order to obtain bank loans. Trump commuted Rubashkin's sentence, effectively cutting short the original sentence of which he served eight years.

    Macron rebukes Assad for accusing France of supporting terrorism

    He criticised separate Russian talks in Astana with Iran and Turkey meant to reduce violence and possibly pave the way to Syrian talks in Sochi next year. "When you have spent your days massacring your own people, you should be generally a little more discreet", Le Drian said.
    Trudeau Vacation Broke Ethics Rules, Canadian Commissioner Says

    Trudeau Vacation Broke Ethics Rules, Canadian Commissioner Says

    The Aga Khan and the Aga Khan Foundation were registered to lobby Trudeau at the time of the Bahamian vacation. Trudeau said he accepted her report and would clear future vacations with the watchdog.
  • Fans mourn K-pop singer whose style was instantly recognizable

    Fans mourn K-pop singer whose style was instantly recognizable

    An wonderful artist he did become as Jonghyun was loved by many fellow artists and fans around the world for his talented works. His solo career was also a success, having been nominated for the best male artist award at the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards.
    Royal Caribbean says it won't provide more info on crash victims

    Royal Caribbean says it won't provide more info on crash victims

    The agency also said Mexican officials have been in contact with consular offices to assist families of the victims and injured. The news from Costa Maya about a bus accident involving #CelebrityEquinox & #SerenadeoftheSeas guests is heartbreaking.
    General Mills 2nd-quarter profits dip despite sales gain

    General Mills 2nd-quarter profits dip despite sales gain

    According to their observations and findings, the stock could provide a high EPS of $0.86/share and a low EPS of $0.77/share. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of General Mills from a "sell" rating to a "hold" rating in a report on Tuesday.

Comments

Other news