Today, Global Witness and Bureau Clara Wichmann filed a joint petition with the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights against Meta (formerly known as Facebook). They request the Institute for Human Rights to investigate whether Meta's advertising algorithm makes a prohibited distinction on grounds of gender and age.

Meta uses an advertising algorithm to determine which users are shown certain ads, but how this algorithm works is not public. This decision-making process is therefore described as a so-called 'black-box'. Investigation by Global Witness has shown that there are strong indications that Meta's advertising algorithm discriminates on grounds of gender when showing job ads to Facebook users. There were ads containing job offers for certain professions that were shown almost exclusively to men or women. As an example: job offers for receptionists were shown to women 97% of the time and job offers for mechanics were show to men 96% of the time. Global Witness and Bureau Clara Wichmann argue that this perpetuates and possibly even increases gender inequality in the labor market.

Global Witness' press release can be found here and Bureau Clara Wichmann's press release here. CNN also covered the discrimination complaint.

Global Witness and Bureau Clara Wichmann are represented by lawyers Brechtje Vossenberg and Thomas van der Sommen.

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