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Employees of the Competence Call Center (CCC) work for the Facebook Community Operations Team in Essen, Germany. Photo: Martin Meissner / AP

The Communications Workers of America union filed an age discrimination lawsuit in a San Francisco federal court on Wednesday, challenging Amazon, T-Mobile, Cox Communications Inc. and hundreds of companies and employment agencies for limiting ads to people younger than 38, per Reuters.

Why it matters: While Facebook is not named as a defendant, the lawsuit accused the tech giant of using age filters as part of its own recruitment efforts. This criticism is the latest leveled at Facebook for allowing bad actors to abuse its ad tools to discriminate against certain demographics or take advantage of vulnerable audiences in controversial ways.

How it works: The micro-targeting process allows advertisers to choose who sees their ads based on age, interests, race as well as characteristics including whether they dislike people based on their race or religion.

Background: The legal challenge is seeking class action status in order to represent Facebook users 40 or older who may have been denied the opportunity to know about certain open job openings. The suit came the same day The New York Times and ProPublica published a joint report about job ads targeting younger age groups on Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.

The other side: Rob Goldman, Facebook vice president of ads, defended the practice in an online statement. He said "showing certain job ads to different age groups on services like Facebook or Google may not in itself be discriminatory — just as it can be OK to run employment ads in magazines and on TV shows targeted at younger or older people. What matters is that marketing is broadly based and inclusive, not simply focused on a particular age group. In addition, certain employers want to attract retirees, or recruit for jobs with specific age restrictions like the military or airline pilots."

This story was updated to include Facebook's statement.

Dig deeper: Facebook publishes ad principles amid growing concerns

Go deeper

10 mins ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania. 

Updated 34 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Swastikas found outside Union Station in D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.