Facebook can’t settle an ad bias claim, draws new complaint

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Facebook hasn’t been able to resolve a two-year-old lawsuit alleging that its platform enables race-based ad targeting and now faces new claims that it allows employers to tailor ads to illegally discriminate against women.

Lawyers with Outten & Golden who worked on a gender-bias complaint filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Tuesday are still in talks with the social networking giant to try to settle a 2016 lawsuit filed by the firm. It alleges that Facebook’s technology let advertisers target groups by race in violation of California civil rights laws.

A federal judge said in August that he would allow no more postponements beyond Tuesday after the 2016 case was put on hold months ago for mediation before he orders the litigation to proceed. Peter Romer-Friedman, an Outten & Golden attorney, said there’s no settlement and that mediation will continue in October.

“There is no place for discrimination on Facebook; it’s strictly prohibited in our policies, and over the past year, we’ve strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse,” Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesman, said in an email. He added that Facebook is reviewing the latest complaint and looks forward to “defending our practices.”

— Bloomberg News


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