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Researchers Find More Potential Discrimination in Facebook Ads

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The researchers found that some advertisers appeared to select images in order to promote gender and racial diversity among their future workforce.

The researchers found it was prevalent for the Facebook advertisers they studied to use images matching the gender stereotype of the job for which they were hiring.

Credit: Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

A study of job advertisements on Meta's Facebook platform by Princeton University researchers identified potentially discriminatory employment ads with images of people that overrepresented or excluded certain demographics.

The researchers observed that advertisers used images matching the gender of their desired applicant and that these ads were amplified by Meta's algorithm, which can determine who sees the ads based on the demographics of the person featured in the ad.

The study, which focused on ads for truck drivers and nurses that contained images of people and ran on Facebook in January 2023, found that men were depicted in 57% of the 159 ads for truck driving jobs. Meanwhile, women were depicted in 42% of the 259 ads for nursing jobs.

The researchers also noted that 83% of the distinct images in truck-driving ads depicted men, and 73% of the distinct images in nursing ads depicted women.

From Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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