Is LinkedIn sexist? One company claims just this after LinkedIn removed an advertisement of theirs. The social media site stated that the company’s ads were being rejected after many complaints were filed about the women featured by them.
According to Business Insider, the company’s CEO recently wrote a blog post where he expressed his severe disappointment. Taso Du Val, CEO of Topal, argues that the ads were rejected because LinkedIn users couldn’t believe an attractive woman could also be a web developer.
He says that when he tried to re-enable the blocked ads from his company, Topal was banned from LinkedIn completely. He was told that the account would be re-enabled after the ads featuring women were removed or changed. It was only after Du Val publicly accused LinkedIn of sexist practices that the social media site reactivated the account and allowed the ads.
Opposing Views reports that the main ad in dispute was one featuring Argentinian web developer Florencia Antara (featured in the above image on the left). They note that some have sided with Topal CEO Du Val, seeing this type of censorship to be a form of “slut-shaming.”
Further evidence of LinkedIn’s sexism can be seen by the fact that none of Topal’s ads featuring male web developers were disputed, it should be pointed out. Du Val says this is because this fits expectations of who works in the tech industry — men wearing glasses with shirt pockets.
LinkedIn has admitted that a mistake was made but denies claims of sexism. They have said that what happened was a result of errors in customer service and automated censorship policies. They say that because Topal sometimes uses stock pictures of female models for their ads, there was some confusion. Du Val doesn’t see the difference, saying none of the ads featuring stock photos of men have been rejected.
What do you think? Is LinkedIn sexist? Is there a certain expectation of what a “web developer” should be? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
[Left Image Of Florencia Antara Via Topal]