Australia politician slammed for Facebook gun photo

A photo of Australian Politician George Christensen carrying a gun posted on Facebook. (Facebook)
Updated 19 February 2018
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Australia politician slammed for Facebook gun photo

SYDNEY: A conservative Australian politician who posted a photo of himself on Facebook holding a gun in a jibe at environmentalists was reported to police and slammed Monday as insensitive after a mass US school shooting.
George Christensen put up the image on Saturday showing him in a shooting stance with the comment “You gotta ask yourself, do you feel lucky, greenie punks?.”
He claimed it was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the “Dirty Harry” film franchise in which a police officer played by Clint Eastwood takes on “people who are conducting illegal activity, such as the greens are.”
The MP has been critical of environmentalists — sometimes backed by the Greens political party — who have tried to blockade mining projects, including chaining themselves to machinery.
The Facebook post was referred to the Australian Federal Police by the Greens, with their Senator Sarah Hanson-Young saying on Twitter she had received an emailed threat from one of Christensen’s supporters.
“Frankly, guns are not a joke and particularly in the wake of the massacre in the US only last week, 17 people shot dead, including children,” Hanson-Young told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the post “very inappropriate.” It was also widely criticized by politicians from other parties.
Christensen, whose National party is the junior partner in the government’s ruling coalition, later deleted it but responded defiantly, saying: “I’m not going to be moralized to by these extreme greens who put the livelihoods, safety and lives of other people at risk.”
He said the post had nothing to do with the American shooting last week where a 19-year-old killed 17 people at his former high school, claiming instead it was a comment on environmentalists’ “illegal activism on mine sites.”
Australia has tough gun laws that include bans on certain weapons, a minimum age, licenses and secure storage, after a mass shooting at the historic Tasmanian colonial convict site of Port Arthur in 1996 where 35 people were killed.
The uproar is the latest headache for the ruling Liberal-National coalition, with Turnbull last week publicly criticizing Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce for his affair with a younger former staffer who is now pregnant with his child.


Facebook accused of discrimination with job ad targeting

Updated 19 September 2018
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Facebook accused of discrimination with job ad targeting

  • It charges that job ads on Facebook targeted male users only
  • Facebook lets advertisers target ads on the basis of gender and age, which is against the law in America

WASHINGTON: A complaint has been filed with the US government accusing Facebook and 10 other companies of using the platform’s job ad targeting system to discriminate on the basis of gender.
The complaint was announced Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, a union called the Communications Workers of America and a labor law firm, on behalf of three female job seekers and a group of “thousands” of members represented by the union.
It charges that job ads on Facebook targeted male users only. It also alleges that most of the listings were for jobs in male-dominated fields, so women and non-binary users were excluded from seeing these ads.
Facebook lets advertisers target ads on the basis of gender and age, which is against the law in America, the complaint reads.
“I shouldn’t be shut out of the chance to hear about a job opportunity just because I am a woman,” said Bobbi Spees, one of the three women named in the complaint.
Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne said in a statement to CNNMoney that there is no place for discrimination on Facebook.
“It’s strictly prohibited in our policies, and over the past year we’ve strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse,” Osborne said.
Facebook will defend itself once it has reviewed the complaint, he added.
The ACLU noted that online platforms such as Facebook are generally not liable for content published by others.
“But in this case, Facebook is doing much more than merely publishing content created by others,” the advocacy group argued.
“It has built the architecture for this discriminatory marketing framework, enabled and encouraged advertisers to use it, and delivered the gender-based ads according to employers’ sex-based preferences.”
Last month the US Department of Housing and Urban Development accused Facebook of breaking the law by letting landlords and home sellers use its ad-targeting system to discriminate against potential buyers or tenants.
Facebook responded by cutting more than 5,000 ad-targeting options to prevent advertisers from discriminating on the basis of traits such as religion or race.