June 24, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Class action in Quebec accuses Facebook of targeting discriminatory ads

Class action in Quebec accuses Facebook of targeting discriminatory ads

Quebec’s Court of Appeal has upheld a class action lawsuit against Facebook, alleging the social network discriminates on the basis of age, gender or origin in the targeting of its ads, a lawyer for the plaintiffs told AFP on Wednesday.

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The California social media giant will have to pay damages to thousands of Quebecers who used the platform since 2016 to find jobs and housing, and whose ads were hidden because of these discriminatory standards.

“We are pleased with the decision of the Court of Appeal in Quebec,” Audrey Bochter, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, hailed AFP, referring to “widespread discriminatory practices.”

“Algorithmic discrimination that prevents certain groups of people from receiving job advertisements, such as women and older workers, is a modern form of the same type of discrimination prohibited under the Quebec Charter,” she said in an email.

A class action was initiated in 2019, which was earlier dismissed by the Court of First Instance.

Contacted by AFP, Facebook’s parent company Meta declined to comment on the Quebec Court of Appeal’s decision but promised to take steps to “promote discrimination and equity in (its) advertising systems.”

The group has also faced similar lawsuits in the United States. In June, the company agreed to change its ad targeting practices and pay $115,054 in fines to end a lawsuit from the US government that accused it of facilitating racism and sexism.

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