Social media giant Facebook has announced that it will change its advertising rules that target candidates based on gender, age and postal codes. It recently settled a civil suit with American Civil Liberties Union based on the issue that advertisers were being biased while targeting users for jobs, accommodation and credit. While announcing the change Facebook stated that inclusivity is a core value for their company. The complaint by ACLU was submitted in last year in September to US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stated that three women were not shown specific job advertisements due to their gender.
ACLU alleged that the practice by Facebook broke the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prevents employers from discriminating against an individual on the basis of color, sex, race, religion, or national origin and is applicable to all stages of employment. The CEO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg wrote in her blog that discrimination on these grounds has a long history in fields of employment, housing and credit which should not be allowed through Facebook adverts. Issues like housing, credit and employment are critical for people to start their careers and buy homes by accessing credit which is why these criteria should not be used to harm people’s future.
She insisted that getting basic rights like housing, employment and access to affordable credit is important for everyone and inclusivity is a core value at Facebook. The settlement of 5 million was done to resolve five separate lawsuits that were filed by ACLU and National Fair Housing Alliance which alleged discrimination by Facebook. The negotiations were carried out over a period of 18 months during which Facebook stated that it would create a separate advertising portal for housing, credit and employment which would not allow businesses to audiences on the basis of age, gender, race, or zip code.