This, following a tip-off from Paul McManus in Bectu’s Glasgow office: A Global Witness investigation has uncovered evidence that Facebook’s ad targeting may be in breach of UK equality and data protection laws.
“In April 2020 [an] ad for job openings at Facebook was seen by more than half a million people in the UK. Yet only 3% of the people who saw the ad were 55 years or older, despite the fact that nearly 20% of Facebook users in the UK are in this age bracket. Men were 62% more likely to be shown the ad than women, and the demographic that saw the ad most frequently was men between 25 and 34 years of age.”
This is, of course, an alarming development for everyone who cares about fair recruitment practices in salaried positions. In simple terms, it perpetuates and exacerbates gender and age discrimination.
But in freelance recruitment, this would almost be a nice problem to have in the first place with most recruitment being done by word of mouth, using the kind of ‘squad system’ described in the long-read post here on how ‘the contingent production army‘ works.
Any challenges to the way that freelance recruitment is conducted will have to look at the role that informal use of social media makes things more unfair.