Facebook ad delivery system shows different ads to women and men

Occurred: March 2021

Facebook ad delivery system showed different job ads to women and men, according to independent researchers.

An audit by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) discovered that Facebook’s ad-delivery system had been withholding showing job ads to women, even though the jobs require the same qualifications. 

Bias of this type is considered sex-based discrimination under US equal employment opportunity law. 

Technology Review pointed out that the findings come despite years of advocacy and lawsuits, and after promises from Facebook to overhaul how it delivers ads.

Operator: Meta/Facebook
Developer: Meta/Facebook
Country: USA
Sector: Business/professional services
Purpose: Target audiences
Technology: Advertising management system
Issue: Bias/discrimination - gender
Transparency: Governance; Black box

Investigations, assessments, audits 🧐

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: April 2021
Last updated: January 2022