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Why Is Facebook's Advertising Algorithm Rejecting Equal Pay?

December 03, 2018 / Tanya Tarr

Is Facebook's advertising algorithm sexist? That's what Tobias Dengel, CEO of WillowTree is claiming after a job advertisement was rejected because of the use of the term "equal pay" in a job announcement run on November 5, 2018. The ad, which features two WillowTree employees - including a young woman in hijab - was rejected on the grounds that WillowTree's Facebook page wasn't authorized to run sponsored content "related to politics and issues of national importance." According to Facebook, equal pay is an issue related to their list of high-level topics defined by their ad policy. The only way to run advertisements on those topics is to become a verified Facebook page. Facebook instituted this practice to increase transparency, particularly around political or advocacy matters, as a first step in restoring trust in the social media giant.