The allegations are based on research by the international nonprofit Global Witness and show that Facebook’s advertising platform targets users with ‘job postings based on gender stereotypes’.
According to data from Global Witness’s Facebook’s Ad Manager platform, for example, job postings for mechanic positions are overwhelmingly shown to male users, while ads for preschool teachers are mostly shown to female users.
Additional research shared privately with CNN by the human rights group Global Witness suggests that this algorithmic bias is a global problem.
“Our concern is that Facebook is exacerbating the prejudices we live with in society and, in fact, overshadowing opportunities for advancement and equality in the workplace,” Naomi Hirst, who heads Global Witness’s campaign strategy on digital threats to democracy, told CNN. she said.
Global Witness, in partnership with the nonprofit Bureau Clara Wichmann and Fondation des Femmes, has filed a complaint against Meta with human rights organizations and data protection authorities in France and the Netherlands, based on their research in both countries.
The groups are calling to investigate whether Meta’s practices violate countries’ human rights or data protection laws.
If any of the agencies find that the allegations are verified, Meta could face fines, sanctions or pressure to make further changes to its product.