Facebook faces fresh allegations of discriminatory ad targeting

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
September 09, 2021, 5:54 PM UTC

In its response, the California-headquartered company has pointed to its homegrown toolkit for examining the social impact of its AI use.

Facebook has said that it plans to look into limitations on ads targeted in markets outside North America. This announcement comes after a campaign group approached the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission after Facebook reportedly failed to prevent discriminatory targeting.

The organisation in question, London-headquartered Global Witness, submitted two ads to Facebook. The groups asked Facebook to show one ad only to men and the other only to people over 55. While Facebook did require Global Witness to declare the latter would not discriminate, the ad was eventually approved.

Additionally, the organisation posted ads for actual vacancies on a recruiting platform to test the outcomes of Facebook’s targeting algorithm. The group specified for the ad to be seen only by UK adults. Of the ads posted, audiences who were 96% male saw the one looking for mechanics. Similarly, those who saw the advertisements for nursery nurses were 95% female.

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