Facebook is in hot water over its targeted ads--again.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Communications Workers of America filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday accusing Facebook and 10 other companies of letting employers publish job ads that discriminate against women. Because Facebook requires users to select gendered pronouns of either male, female or neutral--information it then turns over to advertisers--the company allegedly enabled employers to target only young males for certain job postings, which is illegal under federal law. Facebook previously faced similar criticism for allowing employers to discriminate based on age and for allowing landlords to discriminate based on race.
"When employers in male-dominated fields advertise their jobs only to men, it prevents women from breaking into those fields," the ACLU wrote in a blog post on Tuesday, adding that hiding job ads from women also prevented them from seeing other postings from the same company. "Our data profiles should not determine what information is available to us when it comes to economic opportunities."
Facebook wrote in an emailed statement that discrimination is "strictly prohibited in our policies, and over the past year, we've strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse. We are reviewing the complaint and look forward to defending our practices."
Facebook said in July that the company would remove advertisers' ability to target ads to people based on ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.