Warnings raised of companies using Facebook to create potentially ageist job adverts

Businesses alleged to have used filtering tools to show vacancies only to certain users

Concerns have been raised that companies could be taking advantage of filtering tools offered by social media sites to show job adverts only to select groups of users, potentially hindering older people from applying.

People Management understands the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has spoken to two UK companies about using tools on Facebook to target specific age groups. However, after further correspondence, EHRC was satisfied it did not have grounds to take enforcement action.

Meanwhile, in the US, the Communications Workers of America and three workers are pursuing a class action lawsuit, alleging companies had used Facebook’s filtering tools to make sure only younger workers could see their adverts. The social media site itself was not named as a defendant. 

People Management looked into the filtering options available on social media websites. Facebook Business adverts, which can be used for lead generation, previously allowed for a high degree of targeting. On 15 May 2018, it was possible to build an advert targeted at women aged 18-35 but excluding those who were parents of toddlers or who had an interest in homosexuality or disability rights.