Researchers at the University of Southern California found that disseminated different job offers to men and women at disproportionate levels. In tests conducted by researchers late last year, they determined that men were more likely to see recruitment ads for delivery driver positions at Domino’s Pizza or software engineering jobs at NVIDIA, while women were disproportionately presented for positions Instacart and Netflix.
The researchers wrote that Facebook is “a platform whose algorithm learns and perpetuates the existing difference in employee demographics. This appears to be the case even when an employer seeks to reach a demographically balanced audience with their job postings, the newspaper suggests. On LinkedIn, researchers found no sign of recruitment ads that were disproportionately distributed based on gender identity.
The document raises questions about Facebook’s attempts to reduce bias in its systems. “We have taken significant steps to address the issues of discrimination in ads and teams are now working on fairness in ads,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
Facebook has had problems in the past because of discriminatory ads. In 2019, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development on alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act. HUD said Facebook allows housing discrimination through ad targeting. The company settled the lawsuit.