According to the study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California, Facebook targeted an Instacart delivery job posting to a very female audience and a Domino’s Pizza delivery job posting to a very male audience.
Facebook users may not be told which jobs they are qualified for because the company’s tools may disproportionately direct ads to a particular gender ‘beyond what can be legally justified’, officials said. university researchers in a study published Friday.
According to the study, in one of three examples that generated similar results, Facebook targeted an Instacart delivery job ad to a very female audience and a Domino’s Pizza delivery job ad to a very male audience. .
Instacart has mostly female drivers and Domino’s has mostly male drivers, according to the study by researchers at the University of Southern California.
In contrast, Microsoft Corp’s LinkedIn showed ads for delivery jobs at Domino’s to about the same proportion of women as the Instacart ad.
“Ad serving on Facebook may distort job ad serving by gender beyond what can be legally justified by possible differences in qualifications,” the study said. The finding bolsters the argument that Facebook’s algorithms may be in violation of US anti-discrimination laws, he added.
Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne said the company is counting “many signals to try to serve ads to the people they’ll be most interested in, but we understand the concerns raised in the report.”
Amid lawsuits and regulatory investigations into ad targeting discrimination, Facebook has tightened controls to prevent customers from excluding certain groups from seeing job, housing and other ads.
But researchers remain concerned about biases in artificial intelligence (AI) software choosing which users see an advertisement. Both Facebook and LinkedIn have said they study their AI for what the tech industry calls “fairness.”
LinkedIn Engineering Vice President Ashvin Kannan said the study findings “align with our own internal review of our job posting ecosystem.”