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Facebook can be sued over biased ad algorithm, says court

Illustration: Nick Barclay / The Verge

Facebook can be sued over allegations that its advertising algorithm is discriminatory, a California state court of appeals ruled last week. The decision stems from a class action lawsuit filed against Facebook in 2020, which accused the company of not showing insurance ads to women and older people in violation of civil rights laws.

The case centers around Samantha Liapes, a 48-year-old woman who turned to Facebook to find an insurance provider. The lawsuit alleges that Facebook’s ad delivery system didn’t show Liapes ads for insurance due to her age and gender.

In a September 21st ruling, the appeals court reversed a previous decision that said Section 230 (which protects online platforms from legal liability if users post illegal…

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