ACLU accuses Facebook of allowing employers to exclude women from seeing jobs ads

ACLU accuses Facebook of allowing employers to exclude women from seeing jobs ads
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The ACLU is accusing Facebook of illegally allowing its advertisers to place job ads that engaged in gender discrimination.

The civil liberties group, along with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the law firm Outten and Golden LLP, filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Facebook and 10 employers that placed ads on the platform.

“Sex segregated job advertising has historically been used to shut women out of well-paying jobs and economic opportunities,” Galen Sherwin, an attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, said in a statement. “We can’t let gender-based ad targeting online give new life to a form of discrimination that should have been eradicated long ago.”

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The complaint says that Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude women from seeing certain job ads. When placing an ad, users are asked who the posting should be displayed to and are given three options: men only, women only or “all.”

When it comes to job ads, the ACLU says, two of those options are illegal.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement that the company would review the complaint and that it looked forward to defending its advertising practices.

“There is no place for discrimination on Facebook; it’s strictly prohibited in our policies, and over the past year, we’ve strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse,” the spokesperson said.