Designed for Discrimination

Google Has Been Allowing Advertisers to Exclude Nonbinary People from Seeing Job Ads

Dozens of advertisers instructed the company to not show their ads to people of “unknown” gender, meaning people who had not identified themselves as male or female

The Markup has been doing great work investigating the advertising systems of Google, Facebook and others, and exposing where these systems are facilitating discrimination, abuse and worse.

Google does offer a way for users to see how they’re categorized for ads, on an ads preferences page.

Google’s options for users amount to putting “a rainbow-colored Band-Aid” on “systems that were not really designed to include nonbinary people,” said Albert.

“Really the question they should be asking is which gender are you, and which of these gender categories would you like us to serve you ads for,” and explaining how the ads system uses gender, Albert said.

Once again, Google’s desire to keep the advertising dollars flowing in leads to their looking the other way as advertisers use the system to discriminate against people.

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