According to the study by researchers at the University of Southern California, Facebook targeted an Instacart delivery job posting to a very female audience and a Domino’s Pizza delivery job posting to a very male audience.
Facebook users may not know what jobs they are qualified for, as company tools can disproportionately direct ads to a particular gender “beyond what can be legally justified,” people said. university researchers in a study published Friday.
According to the study, in one of three examples that yielded similar results, Facebook targeted an Instacart delivery job posting to a very female audience and a Domino’s Pizza delivery job posting to a very male audience. .
Instacart has predominantly female drivers and Domino predominantly men, according to a study by researchers at the University of Southern California.
In contrast, Microsoft Corp’s LinkedIn showed ads for delivery jobs at Domino’s to about the same proportion of women as the Instacart ad.
“The posting of ads on Facebook can lead to job posting by gender beyond what can be legally justified by possible differences in qualifications,” the study said. The discovery strengthens the argument that Facebook’s algorithms could violate US anti-discrimination laws, he added.
Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne said the company was representing “a lot of signals to try and deliver ads that will be of most interest to them, but we understand the concerns raised in the report.”
Amid lawsuits and regulatory investigations into discrimination through targeting advertising, Facebook has tightened controls to prevent customers from excluding certain groups from seeing jobs, housing and other advertisements.
But researchers remain concerned about biases in artificial intelligence (AI) software that chooses which users see an ad. Facebook and LinkedIn have both said they are studying their AI for what the tech industry calls “fairness.”
LinkedIn vice president of engineering Ashvin Kannan said the study results “correspond to our own internal review of our job ecosystem.”