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Companies Using Facebook to Keep Older Workers from Seeing Job Ads

Companies Using Facebook to Keep Older Workers from Seeing Job Ads

The complaint of the union says, these companies used Facebook ad-targeting technology and refuses job opportunities to individuals who are searching for and interested in jobs. That's according to a new investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times that found that dozens of the nation's top employers - including Amazon, Verizon, Goldman Sachs, UPS, and Facebook - are using Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn to create recruitment ads that target only younger job seekers. A Goldman Sachs spokesman, Andrew Williams, said showing it to people above that age range would have wasted money: Roughly 25 percent of those who typically click on the firm's untargeted ads are 65 or older, but people that age nearly never apply for the analyst job.

"You're seeing this ad because Amazon Fulfillment Jobs wants to reach people ages 18 to 54 who live or were recently near Silver Spring Maryland", read a recruitment ad. (Verizon did not reply to a request for comment, while Amazon told reporters that it had corrected some ads that targeted certain age groups.) Debra Katz, an employment lawyer who represents victims of discrimination, called the practice "blatantly unlawful". Several jurisdictions consider assisting another person or group in age discrimination as a crime.

The reason for this is probably the same obvious reason employers in many sectors might seek to take advantage of Facebook's ability to target younger workers with job ads: Young people tend to be eager to get ahead and have fewer external obligations like kids. "It helps employers recruit and people of all ages find work", Rob Goldman, a Facebook Vice President said. As the site noted, it's also possible the move puts Facebook in violation of other laws on both the state and local level which prohibit aiding or abetting age discrimination in employment. Some companies said these ads were not representative of their wider recruitment strategies. ProPublica bought job ads on Google and LinkedIn that excluded audiences older than 40 - and the ads were instantly approved.

In the past, Facebook has been forced to apologize and backtrack on its ad targeting tools.

For most of the hundreds of millions of users who visit Facebook daily, this ad was non-existent.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is a great place for employers to search for new employees. In early 2017, the social media platform launched a section devoted to just job ads. To help wrangle its system, Facebook is in the midst of hiring 1,000 new ad reviewers. Meanwhile, Millennials are hired 50% more in tech-despite the fact that workers' performance increases with age. "What matters is that marketing is broadly based and inclusive, not simply focused on a particular age group".

Facebook also ran into a controversy a year ago for enabling Russia-controlled accounts to buy ads before the 2016 USA presidential election. The company also did not know its ad platform offered targeting options to advertisers looking to reach "Jew Haters".

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