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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

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

NRA declares bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment."

The big picture: The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.