Three plaintiffs have filed a class action lawsuit against T-Mobile, Amazon, Cox and dozens of other large US employers, for allegedly excluding older workers from seeing job ads on Facebook’s paid advertising platform.
Linda Bradley, Maurice Anscombe and Lura Callahan contend in their complaint that “hundreds of major American employers and employment agencies routinely exclude older workers from receiving their employment and recruiting ads on Facebook… deny[ing] older workers job opportunities… by targeting their ads to younger workers.”
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday. Plaintiffs were joined by the Communications Workers of America trade union.
The complaint includes dozens of pages showing screenshots of ads on Facebook, where T-Mobile, Amazon, Cox Communications and other companies targeted their job recruitment ads to people ages 18-38 or 22-45. By doing so, the employers violated federal, state and local laws that prohibit age discrimination in employment advertising, recruiting and hiring, the plaintiffs say. They seek an injunction to “stop America’s leading companies from engaging in unlawful age discrimination.”
By limiting which age groups see the ads, an older worker who loses a job and is looking on social media for employment “likely has no idea that major American companies are purposely refusing to tell her about the next job opportunity to may help her feed her family or make her next mortgage payments to stave off a devastating foreclosure,” the complaint said.
“[Older] workers may finally understand why their job searches – that have migrated in recent years – are more difficult than they ought to be,” it added.
Bradley, 45, lost her long-standing job at a call center in Franklin County, Ohio. She regularly uses Facebook to seek employment opportunities.
“On one occasion that Ms. Bradley received an employment ad via Facebook on her Facebook News Feed, she contacted the employers to inquire about an open position…but was routinely denied employment,” the lawsuit said.
Callahan, 67, also lost a job at a call center in Franklin County, Ohio, and “has routinely been denied employment advertisements and recruitment that similarly situated workers have received in Ohio.”
Anscombe, 57, became unemployed having previously worked as a cable technician for almost two decades. Before that, he was in law enforcement. He also regularly used Facebook to seek employment opportunities and “has routinely been denied employment advertisements that similarly situated workers have received in Maryland,” the complaint said.
Among other claims, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the practice violates various state laws prohibiting age discrimination in employment, and punitive damages for economic harm they suffered.
The case was filed several days after the 50th anniversary of Congress passing the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and on the same day the New York Times and ProPublica published a joint investigation raising concerns over job ads aimed at younger age groups on Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.
Simply showing certain job ads to different age groups on services like Facebook or Google may not in itself be discriminatory — just as it can be OK to run employment ads in magazines and on TV shows targeted at younger or older people. What matters is that marketing is broadly based and inclusive, not simply focused on a particular age group,” Rob Goldman, Facebook’s vice president of advertising, said in a statement.
Facebook Fired Pro-Trump & Anti Hillary Founder of Oculus
Every so often, Silicon Valley’s virtue-signaling, shadowbanning, anti-conservative media titans appear in Congress or devise a quick PR campaign to show to the world just how truly impartial they are with zero liberal bias. And every single time it backfires as their true ideological face quickly emerges from behind a fake, hypocritical mask.
Take the case of former Facebook executive, Oculus co-founder and virtual-reality wunderkind Palmer Luckey, who was a rising star of Silicon Valley when, at the height of the 2016 presidential contest, he donated a modest $10,000 to an anti-Hillary Clinton group. His donation sparked a backlash from his colleagues, which then led to him being put on leave, and six months later he was fired.
What is odd about Luckey’s termination, is that when testifying before Congress about data privacy earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg denied, or rather lied that the departure had anything to do with politics. In fact, neither Facebook nor Mr. Luckey ever said why he left the social-media giant.
Until now: according to a report from the WSJ, Luckey told people the reason for his termination from that bastion of apolitical impartiality Facebook, was his support for Donald Trump and the furor that his political beliefs sparked within his employer, and Silicon Valley, some of those people say.
Google & China Have A Program Linking Phone Numbers To Searches
A prototype of Google’s censored search engine for China links users’ searches to their personal phone numbers, “thus making it easier for the Chinese government to monitor people’s queries,” reports The Intercept.
The search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, revolves around the Android platform and is designed to remove content deemed by government officials to be sensitive or offensive – such as information about protests, free speech, political dissidents, democracy and human rights violations.
Sources familiar with the project said that prototypes of the search engine linked the search app on a user’s Android smartphone with their phone number. This means individual people’s searches could be easily tracked – and any user seeking out information banned by the government could potentially be at risk of interrogation or detention if security agencies were to obtain the search records from Google.
the search platform also appeared to have been tailored to replace weather and air pollution data with information provided directly by an unnamed source in Beijing. The Chinese government has a record of manipulating details about pollution in the country’s cities. One Google source said the company had built a system, integrated as part of Dragonfly, that was “essentially hardcoded to force their [Chinese-provided] data.” -The Intercept
“This is very problematic from a privacy point of view, because it would allow far more detailed tracking and profiling of people’s behavior,” says Human Rights Watch senior internet research Cynthia Wong. “Linking searches to a phone number would make it much harder for people to avoid the kind of overreaching government surveillance that is pervasive in China.”
Human rights groups have slammed Dragonfly, insisting that it could result in Google “directly contributing to, or [becoming] complicit in, human rights violations.”
“Legal Remedies” Coming For Tech Censorship?
Rep. Devin Nunes said he is looking at possible legal action against Twitter over the “shadow banning” fiasco that temporarily decreased the visibility he and other Republicans had on the social media platform.
Last week, Vice News reported that Nunes, along with several other conservative Republican figures, were harder to find on Twitter as their accounts did not show up on the auto-populated drop-down search box.
“It sure looks to me like they are censoring people and they ought to stop it. We are looking at any legal remedies to go through,” Nunes, R-Calif., said at the end of a Sunday morning interview on Fox News.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nunes’ comments follow a tweet by President Trump saying “We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once!”
Those GOP individuals who were effected by the “shadow banning” debacle didn’t completely disappear from Twitter — their profiles did appear when a full search was conducted — but they did express ire at what they said could be a politically charged maneuver to make it less convenient for users to find them. These GOP figures — Nunes, along with Reps. Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, and Mark Meadows, as well as Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel — felt the impact along with controversial right-wing figures, including Jason Kessler, the organizer of last year’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.