ProPublica: Facebook Ads Can Still Discriminate Against Women and Older Workers, Despite a Civil Rights Settlement. “For Dolese Bros. Co. construction and supply company, which has a fleet of 300 trucks, recruiting enough qualified drivers in rural Oklahoma has been a challenge….The company used Facebook’s new special ads portal, which doesn’t allow targeting by gender, age, race or ethnicity. That was fine with Dolese. While its drivers tend to be men, the company has no gender preference. ‘The gals we have in our group are fabulous,’ [Kermit] Frank said. ‘We’d take any and all of them we could ever get.’ By the time the ad stopped running ten days later, more than 20,000 people had seen it. Eighty-seven percent of them were men.”
Northern Arizona University: Can open source software be gender-biased? Yes, say professors who are working to eliminate gender-biased ‘bugs’ . “The cycle of open source software (OSS) development and gender representation is, perhaps, unsurprising—women are vastly underrepresented among OSS developers. As a result, women miss out on development and professional opportunities, and as jobs in OSS development open up, women lack the experience to get them. And the cycle continues. It’s so pervasive that it’s likely built right into the software itself, say four researchers, which is an entirely separate problem—one they’re aiming to resolve through finding these bugs and proposing redesigns around them, leading to more gender-inclusive tools used by software developers.”
TechCrunch: Facebook expands its efforts against ad discrimination. “First, it’s expanding the enforcement of these rules beyond Facebook Ad Manager to encompass every other place where someone might buy ads on Facebook: the Ads Manager app, Instagram Promote, the ad creation tools on Facebook Pages and the Facebook Marketing API (which connects with third-party ad-buying tools). Second, it’s expanding its searchable ad library — first created in response to concerns about political misinformation — to include housing ads targeted at an U.S. audience.”
Cavalier Daily: Mapping Cville Project launches crowdsourcing phase to create map of housing discrimination origins . “The project aims to develop an interactive digital map of past and present inequities in Charlottesville, and its first layer will show housing discrimination origins by plotting every deed in the City that contains a racially restrictive covenant — clauses within property deeds that restricted the sale of properties to only white residents and often explicitly prohibited sales to African-Americans.”
CBC: ‘Learn how to read English’: Kijiji discrimination case highlights human rights law online. “Eight years after the complaint was made, a decision has come down in a St. John’s human rights case that centres on discrimination in the world of online commerce. The decision in Zaid Saad’s case appears to be one of the first of its kind, according to the Human Rights Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador, which explicitly states a person cannot be discriminated against on online commerce websites, like Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji or NL Classifieds.” I’m going to be thinking about this one a long time.
CNN: Facebook denied financial services opportunities to women and older people, lawsuit alleges. “Facebook is facing a proposed class action lawsuit for allegedly denying people financial services products based on age and gender. A complaint filed Thursday in a federal district court in San Francisco alleges that financial services ads on Facebook were targeted away from women and older people over the past three years. The complaint defines older people as those who are at least 40 years old.” That last sentence. OUCH.
CNN: Civil rights groups urge Facebook to act against discrimination and voter suppression. “More than 45 civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign, came together to urge Facebook (FB) to protect civil rights and address discrimination on its platform. The call to action came Monday in a letter from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, an umbrella organization of civil rights groups.”