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ACLU alleges bias by Facebook

According to the American Civil liberties Union, or ACLU, Facebook is discriminating against New York workers and others with its advertising policies. Specifically, the ACLU says that women and those who don't associate with either gender are not being shown ads for jobs. The lawsuit is being brought on behalf of three women who claim that they didn't see ads for jobs in industries dominated by men.

Those who are see employment ads on the site can click on them to see who the ad is targeting. This made it possible to determine that ads for police officers in Greensboro, North Carolina, were targeting men between the ages of 25-35 while excluding others. While Facebook says that advertising cannot discriminate based on gender or sexual orientation, many ads in the complaint either featured photographs of men or no picture at all. The ACLU also claims that the social networking site knew only certain job candidates were able to see advertisements.

In some cases, employees may not see advertisements because they don't look like someone who has viewed a similar ad in the past. The ACLU says that the use of "lookalike audience" features is also against the law. Furthermore, it says that this and other tactics are used to actively encourage discrimination against certain groups who are looking for work.

Employees who receive unequal treatment while looking for work or while employed could be victims of gender discrimination. Discrimination may occur if a worker is not made aware of a job opening or is otherwise denied an opportunity based on gender as opposed to how qualified the worker is. Those who believe that they were treated improperly may benefit from consulting with an attorney. If a claim is successful, workers might be entitled to compensation.

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