Facebook Inc is facing an another class action on accusation of practicing discriminatory practices against older and female users by withholding financial services advertisement like insurances, bank accounts, loans and investments.
The complaint filed in San Francisco federal court says that Facebook, despite recently going through an overhaul in its targeted ads structure covering other type of ads, continues to allow financial services advertisers to target prospective customers on the basis of their age and gender.
According to the complaint, the Menlo Park, California-based social media company is violating state’s civil rights laws in course of conducting its advertising operations, an accusation that is exposing the social media giant to billions of dollars in paying likely damages to hundreds of thousands of users nationwide.
In a phone interview, lawyer for plaintiffs Peter Romer-Friedman said that the companies cannot discriminate people because of their age group of gender on the internet, especially for financial services opportunities. It is like General Motors offering different features in their cars to older people or women from the features they would be offering to men or younger people.
Referrin to the complaint lodged, Facebook said it is looking into the matter. A spokeswoman said that since long, Facebook has been prohibiting discrimination and the company is proud of efforts it had made to respond discriminatory practices on its platform.
Earlier this year, to settle lawsuits for allowing discriminatory advertising practices on its platform, Facebook committed that it will make changes to its targeted ad system which will also implemented on Messenger and Instagram platforms.
And now after seven months of that commitment, when Facebook started implementing those committed changes, the complaint argued that the social media platform is still allowing financial services ads to remain limited to offer financial services to “men ages 20 and older”, “to people ages 24 to 40,” and other similar groups, seeking damages for millions of Facebook users under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which allows $4,000 of damages per violation.