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Facebook pays $5m after claims it allowed job adverts to block ethnic minority candidates

Facebook will pay $5 million (£3.8 million) to civil rights groups that have accused the social networking giant of letting advertisers block black and ethnic minority groups from housing, jobs and access to finance.

As the readers of the Reviewedo blog are aware, when writing a job advert it is of the upmost importance that recruiters focus on the things that matter, i.e. the skills, experiences and education of the candidate. Job adverts should be advertised in a manner where it will attract a diverse range of candidates. However, the Telegraph have reported that Facebook will pay £3.8 million to civil rights groups following accusations that the social media giant Facebook allowed job adverts to block black and ethnic minority groups.

This block came to light after international bodies such as The National Fair Housing Alliance, The American Civil Liberties Union, the Communications Workers of America, individual consumers and individual job seekers accused Facebooks advertising tools of allowing employers to vet adverts based on sex, race, family status and disabilities.

The National Fair Housing Alliance president Lisa Rice told the Telegraph:

“This is a historic settlement, but we are still billing this as a first step because there are all kinds of ways that algorithmically-based formulas can perpetuate discrimination in our marketplaces.”

But, the ethnic monitory block didn’t just apply to jobseekers; it later became apparent that it applied to housing and access to finance too. The social media behemoth has promised to make urgent changes to its targeted advertising process in order to filter out discrimination after settling five landmark lawsuits that were filed between November 2016 and September 2018.

Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, said yesterday that they planned on blocking anyone that posts job adverts from discriminating against facebook users based on race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. - Obviously a positive move.

This is an obvious lesson to all recruiters out there who post job adverts, however, in 2019 it still shocks us at Reviewedo that we need to talk about this.

If you have ever been discriminated against, or had a negative experience with a recruiter share your experiences now on Reviewedo.

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