Facebook Settles With Rights Groups On Ad Discrimination



Facebook unveiled major changes to how it uses targeted advertising on Tuesday, settling a legal challenge alleging it discriminated in messages on jobs, housing, credit and other services.

The leading social network said housing, employment or credit ads will no longer be allowed to target by age, gender or zip code — a practice critics argued had led to discrimination.

The changes came as part of a settlement with the National Fair American Civil Liberties Union, National Fair Housing Alliance, Communication Workers of America and others.

“Today’s changes mark an important step in our broader effort to prevent discrimination and promote fairness and inclusion on Facebook,” chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement announcing the changes.

“But our work is far from over. We’re committed to doing more, and we look forward to engaging in serious consultation and work with key civil rights groups, experts and policymakers to help us find the right path forward.”

The ACLU called the agreement a “historic settlement” that will result in major changes to Facebook’s advertising platform.

Under the settlement, Facebook will take proactive steps to prevent advertisers from discrimination when sending job, housing or credit ads to users of Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.

“Advertisers will no longer be able to exclude users from learning about opportunities for housing, employment or credit based on gender, age or other protected characteristics,” ACLU attorneys Galen Sherwin and Esha Bhandari said in a blog post.

“Ad-targeting platforms can be used to exclude users on the basis of race, gender or age, as well as interests or groups that can serve as proxies for those categories (think ‘soccer moms’ or ‘Kwanzaa celebrators’).”

The ACLU said it began exerting pressure on Facebook several years ago to stop its use of an “ethnic affinity” category, which labeled users as Asian American, Hispanic or African American based on what they liked on Facebook.

The organization said Facebook took some steps to eliminate discriminatory targeting but did not always follow through.

For certain ad categories, Facebook will create a separate portal for such ads with a much more limited set of targeting options excluding Facebook users’ age, gender, race or other characteristics.

Facebook will also implement a system of automated and human review to ensure compliance and to study the potential for unintended biases in algorithmic modeling.


Serena Claims ‘Discrimination’ Over Drug Tests

US player Serena Williams reacts while playing against Germany’s Angelique Kerber during their women’s singles final match on the twelfth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London. Oli SCARFF / AFP


Serena Williams claims she is the victim of “discrimination” by US doping chiefs who are testing her more than other players.

At Wimbledon, Williams slammed “shocking” treatment over excessive targeting from testers in the run-up to the second Grand Slam of the season.

And in a tweet on Wednesday the 23-time Grand slam winner reignited the discussion.

“…..and it’s that time of the day to get “randomly” drug tested and only test Serena,” she posted on her official Twitter page.

“Out of all the players it’s been proven I’m the one getting tested the most. Discrimination? I think so. At least I’ll be keeping the sport clean #StayPositive,” she wrote.

The 36-year-old battled back from life-saving surgery after giving birth to get within touching distance of an eighth Wimbledon title.

However, the American suffered a straight sets defeat by Angelique Kerber in the women’s final on July 14.

She had arrived at the tournament on the back of a report revealing her anger about an unannounced test in June where the tester refused to leave her Florida house.

Williams said at the time she had been tested five times on June, compared to one or none from some of her compatriots.

Athletes returning from a long absence are often the subject of repeated drug tests, as they are seen as part of a higher-risk category than athletes in the flow of regular competition.


FG Says It Will Continue To Protect Rights Of The Girl Child

Girl Child, Human Rights
The minister says some cultural stereotypes are inimical to the rights of girls

The Federal government says it has initiated programmes that will enhance the welfare of young children especially the girls and protect them from any form of molestation.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan disclosed this on Tuesday during a news conference to mark the 2016 International Day of the Girl Child.

Senator Alhassan said the ministry has embarked on advocacy visits and campaigns for the domestication of the Child Rights Act in all the states of the federation.

She also announced that the ministry has sponsored a bill on Gender and Equal Opportunities at the the National Assembly as well as the launching of the Social Protection Programme to assist indigent children to go to school.

The International Day of the Girl Child is a day set aside to draw attention of policy makers on the need to address the challenges girls face.

Nigeria being a member of the United Nations, joined other countries of the world to mark the day which called for creation of more opportunities for girls and raises awareness of the discrimination they face worldwide due to their gender.

The Women Affairs minister who identified age-longed prejudices and cultural stereotypes that are unfavourable to the girl child , added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is determined to ensure that women take their rightful place in the scheme of affairs in the country.

She reiterated the President’s resolve to ensure the safe return of the abducted Chibok school girls in Borno State.

In line with the theme – “Girls Progress equal to Goals Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement – the minister said attention would be directed to increased data generation and management in planning for the girl child and women in Nigeria.

‘Implement Existing Laws’

Meanwhile some stakeholders have faulted the introduction of new policies and programmes to protect the rights of the girl child. They say why create new policies when existing ones are yet to be fully implemented.

Erhumwunse Eghosa of the SOS Children’s Village, Lagos, said the Nigerian Government should pay more attention to implementing laws that protect the rights of children in the society, rather than creating new laws.

He explained that by empowering the girl child, 40% of the job of development would have been done, considering their roles in all facets of development, starting from their roles in raising kids.

He highlighted the need to provide social protection, employment, healthcare and education, with emphasis on the implementation of the laws that would ensure that all these are provided.

India Six-Year-Old Girl Raped By Staff Members

A sexual assault case was lodged indiaby a six-year-old schoolgirl who has been allegedly raped by two staff members at a prominent school in the southern India City of Bangalore.

The child was assaulted on July 2, but her parents discovered it only a few days after, when she complained of stomach ache and was taken to hospital.

According to BBC Hindi’s Imran Qureshi, the girl was allegedly raped by a security guard and a gym teacher, but with multiple guards and gym instructors in the school, they have been trying to identify the guilty.

As the news of the child’s rape became public, hundreds of parents gathered outside the school, protesting against the alleged insensitivity of the school management.

On Thursday, School Chairman, Rustom Kerawala, addressed a meeting of the parents where he offered his “sincere apologies” and promised “full cooperation” with the Police in investigation.

Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus, which led to a massive outrage in the country and forced the government to introduce tougher anti-rape laws, including the death penalty in rare cases.

The law has, however, failed to act as a deterrence. According to statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau for 2013, one rape was reported every 21 minutes in the country.

The new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has promised a zero tolerance approach on crimes against women, violence and discrimination.


Zimmerman Trial Jurors To Be Instructed On Lesser Charge: Judge

Jurors in the George Zimmerman murder trial will be told they can potentially convict him for the lesser charge of manslaughter for the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, a Florida judge said on Thursday.

“The court will give the instruction on manslaughter as a Category One,” Seminole County Court Judge Debra Nelson said.

The decision on the instructions that will be given to the panel of six woman jurors was announced by Seminole County Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, as lawyers for the defense and prosecution argued in a hearing closed to the jury about the instruction they will be given in the closely-watched case.

Zimmerman, 29, faces up to life in prison if he is convicted of second-murder, the charge for which he was put on trial. Under the lesser offense of manslaughter, he could face a maximum penalty of 30 years.

People With Disability And The Pending Bill

In some other climes, thoroughfares are specially built for them infact most infrastructure have a special design for this group of people but in Nigeria, it seems not much is being done to accomodate them in the society.

The bill to integrate Persons With Disability (PWDs) is currently under debate at the National Assembly. But the major issue is whether the bill will have a dedicated commission for its enforcement.

On this episode of Law Weekly, our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele looks at the plight of persons living with disability and the efforts by the National Assembly to pass a legislation to stop the discrimination against them.