It is no secret that as you get older, getting a new job can be tougher as companies usually favor those who are younger for a variety of reasons (unless the job position in question calls for decades of experience). However discriminating against age is actually illegal, but it seems that Facebook’s job ads are being accused of just that.


In a joint investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times (via Engadget), it seems that companies are using the filters in Facebook’s ads to target potential job applicants of a certain age. As Engadget notes, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 forbids companies from having a bias against applicants who are 40 or older.

That being said, Facebook doesn’t think that anything is wrong. According to Facebook’s Rob Goldman, VP of ads, “Used responsibly, age-based targeting for employment purposes is an accepted industry practice and for good reason: it helps employers recruit and people of all ages find work.”

Note that this isn’t the first time that Facebook’s ad filters have caused the company a bit of trouble. In the past it was discovered that some ads were designed to target/exclude certain groups, resulting in Facebook hiring more human workers who will help to manually review certain ads deemed to be sensitive.

It has also been pointed out that Facebook isn’t the only one doing this. In their investigation, ProPublica found that they were able to purchase job ads from Google and LinkedIn to exclude applicants over the age of 40. LinkedIn claims to have since changed the system after they were notified to this, while Google acknowledges that they don’t prevent marketers from displaying ads based on age.

Filed in General. Read more about Facebook.

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