Bias, Discrimination and Deception

We are all biased, most of us are merely that to a degree, partially set to convictions we have, partially set to values that we endorse, embrace or idolise and part to what the media tells us and how it is told to us. We have always claimed to be the better person, to look beyond, to get ‘the big picture’, but is that actually true?

You see, there are rips in the fabric of objectivity, it changed what we see to be no more merely subjective, we are treated to biased views and that is a much larger problem. Reuters gives us ‘Eighteen fishermen killed off Yemen’s Red Sea coast‘, with the quote “A frigate attacked a fishing boat off Yemen’s Red Sea port of al-Khoukha, killing 18 fishermen on Tuesday, relatives said. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi group denied reports that it had carried out the attack“, as well as “The Saudi-led coalition denied attacking the boat and said an unknown vessel opened fire on the fishermen, killing 17“. we also see CNN, who gives us ‘Saudi-led coalition investigates Yemen airstrike following CNN report‘ with the quote “The Saudi-led coalition fighting a war against Houthi rebels in Yemen said it will investigate an airstrike that killed two children last week after CNN provided evidence of the incident“. Now I am not debating whether this is all true, or that things did not happen. You see, the bias here is that no one (the western media) gave us ‘Mosque, house hit by Houthi missile fragments in Saudi Arabia‘ with the quote “Civil Defense Forces launched a report on Tuesday regarding a military projectile launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia from within Yemeni territory toward a village in the southern province of Dhahran“, this news we got from the Arab News. The issue is not merely that it happened, the fact that a Houthi missile caused damage. The reasons for this are unknown. We can point at several settings (the Iranian nuclear deal being one), but in the end it remains speculation, merely the fact that the bias is occurring can be shown and there is no way that a lack of storage space on the media servers will ever be a valid one.

Yet bias goes both ways. That is seen when we are confronted with the accusations against Facebook. Many covered that and in this case I decided to look at several sources whilst giving view to the Australian Financial Review. When we see: ‘Facebook accused of allowing a bias against women in its job ads‘, we are given “a group of job seekers is alleging that Facebook helps employers exclude female candidates from recruiting campaigns” and normally i would agree that there is an issue. Yet here we need to consider two elements. The first is not merely the job; it is the setting that is actually beyond ludicrous. I agree with the statement: “Debra Katz, a Washington-based employment lawyer not involved in the case, said the advertising campaigns appeared to violate federal law“, I think that the setting has a discriminatory setting, yet is it discriminatory? Two sides of not merely the same coin, but settings of different currency (in this specific case). The quote: “The employers appear to have used Facebook’s targeting technology to exclude women from the users who received their advertisements, which highlighted openings for jobs like truck driver and window installer. The charges were filed on behalf of any women who searched for a job on Facebook during roughly the past year” seems to have the goods. When we consider: “truck driver and window installer“, we see two very physical demanding roles, and no one denies that women can do these jobs too. Now we get the part “exclude women from the users who received their advertisements“, even as we see: “the Facebook disclosure for an ad by Nebraska Furniture Mart of Texas seeking staff members to “assemble and prepare merchandise for delivery” said the company wanted to reach men 18 to 50 who lived in or were recently near Fort Worth. The lawyers and their team collected the ads between October 2017 and August 2018“, you see the actual job is one thing; targeting advertisement to get more people to apply is another matter. With the Facebook ad, we do not get to see an actual job, merely a link to where the careers are. And advertisement is about reaching a population, in this case the male population. I know that it still sounds discriminatory, but look at it for the placement angle. Is any firm mandatory in creating job awareness (again awareness, not the actual application) for 50% to a group of people where less than 1% would even consider a job (better stated, this specific job)? On that foundation the job market will collapse, because in my view all professional medical jobs will be prohibited from advertising in medical publications as these magazines are not free and often not cheap either. This gives us that unemployed medical professionals would be unable to afford it, which implies that any medical professional sought, can only be sought if the advertisements are balanced on all media in equal measure. So even as it diminishes the capacity of the employer to find the suitable market, it must be visible everywhere.

I know it is a stretch. It gets worse when you consider that the actual job advertisement regarding ‘Nebraska Furniture Mart‘ is on their own website, visible to all, with a clear mentions of: “Nebraska Furniture Mart is an Equal Opportunity Employer“, the actual job advertiser, visible to all, to get more awareness, places like ‘Nebraska Furniture Mart‘ reached out through other additional medium setting the scope narrow to achieve more applications. Now, the fact that they were approaching one specific group, because the other group is likely to get a mere 1% chance of an applicant does not make is discriminatory, it is merely a setting to hopefully get more awareness more effectively.

That is the problem with bias, especially when it is set on common sense. I wonder in how many Republican magazines and affiliations we see ACLU jobs, or call for sponsors of the ACLU, if that is zero, is that not equally worthy of investigation? When we consider that “It is against the law to discriminate against anyone in the workplace because of their actual or assumed political beliefs or activities“, should we not investigate whether the ACLU advertised 50% in democratic and 50% in republican publications? You see, it suddenly becomes a different setting. It is like watching the overly political correct rejection notices, whilst at these firms you are unlikely to see people over 45, which in light of an aging population is a statistical outlier in several ways. No, the ACLU is looking into the discrimination of advertisement. In that light, we should see a 50% gender setting of anyone receiving Viagra ads, is that the case? You see, it is also a treatment for pulmonary hypertension, are women not allowed medication for pulmonary hypertension?

If one side is demanded, should the other not be equally enforced?

The fact is that advertising is always, not sometimes, but ALWAYS about discrimination in some form, and as such, I am happy to see the ACLU trying to make advertising obsolete (for several reasons).

So here we see the two forms of bias. The one stream is where we are not given all the news, we are merely receiving filtered news and no one seems to raise a finger, in the other version we see on how one gender is suddenly feeling left out, feeling left out, whilst all the indications give us that 98% of that gender would not ever consider a certain job. The fact that the advertisement merely links to the job page is also important, because ‘searching Google’ for the job gave me the page in seconds and I live on the other side of the Pacific River. This now gets us to the part where it is not about discrimination, but about awareness. You see, growing awareness is about reaching MORE people, reaching optionally the INTERESTED parties, which is not discriminatory. If so, I will forward this to the NRA, showing them that they can advertise in EVERY university publication and the NRA cannot be blocked or disallowed providing clear safety issues are part of the advertisement. And let’s not forget that the NRA is currently holding the ‘Banned Guns Giveaway‘ raffle, I personally always liked the FN Scar as it reminds me of my old FN FAL, not sure if I could ever get it into Australia, but that is just a different challenge for another day.

Is my setting ridiculous? Yes, it kind of is, but then so is the setting by the ACLU, especially when we see the scope of it. It is not about setting a president; it is about the application of common sense. It also makes me wonder how many secretary jobs were shown to men in all this (perhaps there is no Facebook advertisement need). The question then becomes, can there be bias in the raising of awareness? If you can raise awareness and you have $10 to do so, so only 100 people could be made aware, when you see that in the gender setting 50% is immediately lost, is it discriminatory to set the stage that 100% of the funds are used wisely?

That is the much harder question in all this, is it not? Consider that it was a job that both genders desire, at that point the ACLU would have a clear case, is that still the case here? There is actually a second setting, which we see in the Washington Post. there we are treated to: “The groups bringing the charges, including the 700,000-member Communications Workers of America union, argue that long-standing civil rights laws that protect people from discrimination are being routinely broken as more job and housing searches move online“, that is not entirely the same, is it? That is, apart from the fact that they added housing searches to the equation.

Yet they too are not on the clear setting of awareness and actual job applications, is it? Yet here we also see “Federal laws prohibit employers, lenders, insurers and landlords from excluding people from advertising on the basis of what are known as “protected categories,” which include gender, race, national origin, religion, age, military status, disability and sexual orientation“. It almost seems that there is a case, yet here too we see two parts, the first if on the discrimination, the second is on the party doing so. You see, the image gives additional facts that we were not given before. When you look you are given the first part, the fact that this was shown via Survey Monkey, this not a job site, but a Market Research link, so basically it was a questionnaire with one question: ‘Would you like this job?’ offering a job link. So someone at that firm decided to get creative and offering another way to gain visibility, now gives us the stage setting of deceptive conduct, deceptively marketing a job, not to the viewer, but to Facebook. The earlier settings still apply in my personal views, but the fact that they used deceptive conduct was not shown in either article, making the issue larger, yet taking Facebook out of the equation as an optional guilty party.

Yet the Australian Financial Review does give another part. With: “In practice, Facebook, with its more than 2 billion monthly active users, can be the most important tool for reaching certain types of workers, such as hourly workers, who often do not use other platforms like LinkedIn and sometimes do not even have resumes“, I acknowledge that, yet that does not make the gender filter valid, in addition we can argue that “she would like to find a similar job and had used Facebook actively for her search but had had difficulty finding leads” is an optional viewing of a lack of common sense as it is a social interaction media platform, not a job hunting platform, there are loads that are tailored to that and Facebook ain’t one of them. In addition when I am treated to “By contrast, Spees said, her husband saw numerous ads for high-paying manual jobs when he was searching online for a job two to three years ago“, it does not state ‘he was searching Facebook for a job‘, giving the notion that there is way too much BS at the end of that article, especially when we are treated to: “Spees was lucky to receive such intelligence from her husband. More often, said Galen Sherwin of the ACLU, her lawyer, “People don’t know they’re not seeing an ad.”“. I would see it as the misrepresented part of it all. It is almost like a person going into the Russell Senate Office Building looking for a prostitute. In light of the far too often illustrated fact (via media) that politicians will do anything for money (or votes for that matter), we now need to seek one there. It does not matter that they are apparently overly available at the intersection of 11th and K Streets in Northwest (Washington DC that is). We can decide to go looking for them in the Russell Senate Office Building (both genders are available there, so it is not discriminatory).

So in all it is not about discrimination, it is not about bias and not about awareness (although that remains an option), it is about the setting of deceptive conduct on whomever used Survey Monkey to bypass whatever Facebook had in place and the fact that the ACLU could (read: should) have clearly seen that this was a setting of deceptive conduct and skated around that setting is also a reprehensible side of the ACLU.

It is not the first time that the ACLU left common sense in the basement, but you know that is the setting, because if we condemn them for not being common sense inclined, that might be regarded as discrimination too.

Perhaps we should consider that an overly politically correct world is the most useless one, because if we get all the noise, if we get every option because it is the right thing to do, we soon stop looking to whatever might be of value too. You can test that for yourself. How often have you missed a letter because your floor/mailbox was overflowing with junk mail and advertising? That is the setting that the ACLU seems to be going for, and if they were genuinely interested in addressing discrimination, they would have clearly indicated the deceptive conduct part, which they did not, they merely wanted to kick Facebook. When we are reaching the stage where Facebook has the higher moral ground over the ACLU, how far off the track has the ACLU gone?

 

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