Case: Riddick v. Facebook

3:18-cv-04529 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Filed Date: July 26, 2018

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Riddick v. Facebook is a lawsuit brought to hold Facebook accountable for discriminatory advertising practices relating to users’ personal characteristics such as sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, citizenship, primary language, immigration status, and age. Facebook’s discriminatory practices violate California Civil Code Sections 51, 51.5, and 52. This lawsuit was brought in concurrence with 66 civil rights lawsuits filed against employers including employer…

Riddick v. Facebook is a lawsuit brought to hold Facebook accountable for discriminatory advertising practices relating to users’ personal characteristics such as sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, citizenship, primary language, immigration status, and age. Facebook’s discriminatory practices violate California Civil Code Sections 51, 51.5, and 52.

This lawsuit was brought in concurrence with 66 civil rights lawsuits filed against employers including employers Nebraska Furniture Mart, Sandhills Publishing Company, Need Work Today, Renewal by Andersen LLC, Rice Tire, JK Moving Services, Enhanced Roofing & Modeling, and Xenith for using Facebook ads to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, and other protected classes. The claims were filed in response to an investigation by ProPublica which exposed the discriminatory advertising on Facebook. In November 2016, the first civil rights lawsuit was filed against Facebook in California, on behalf of millions of people of color who had missed opportunities for housing, jobs, and credit. This prompted a second major lawsuit by the Fair Housing Advocates in New York.

On July 26, 2018, this action was moved to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act. Facebook moved to consider whether this action was related to Onuoha v. Facebook (Mobley v. Facebook) (N.D. Cal.). On September 10, 2018, the court found that the cases were not related. Additionally, on October 31, 2018, Facebook moved to dismiss the plaintiff's second amended complaint.

Facebook lawyers initially moved to have Riddick v. Facebook and the four related cases dismissed. When the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, testified before congress earlier in April 2018, he acknowledged that protecting people from illegal ad discrimination was a work in progress. Following the hearing, Facebook agreed to a civil rights audit. The holistic review of all possible civil rights issues on Facebook was led by Laura Murphy, the former head of the ACLU in Washington, and included experts from the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. The outcome of this review led to a settlement of this charge and several other pending cases.

Prior to settlement, on November 19, 2018, the plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint. The plaintiffs alleged that Facebook and other advertiser defendants violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the California Civil Code by collaborating "in creating, developing, and/or utilizing" tools to "not publish, not provide, and not send ads and the information in those ads" to persons "based on their protected personal characteristics."

In March 2019, Facebook reached settlements in three civil rights cases and two complaints before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over ad discrimination on its platform. The settlement included Riddick v. Facebook (N.D. Cal.), Communications Workers of America v. Facebook (EEOC), Spees v. Facebook (EEOC), Mobley v. Facebook (N.D. Cal.), and National Fair Housing Alliance v. Facebook (S.D.N.Y), all available on the Clearinghouse. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg commented on the settlement in a blog post: “There is a long history of discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, and credit, and this harmful behavior should not happen through Facebook ads…We can do better.” Sandburg attributed the civil rights audit in Facebook’s decision to settle.

The terms of the settlement included promises by Facebook to make significant changes to their advertising tools to curb the availability of advertisers to target users based on protected characteristics. The changes will affect Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Facebook agreed to create a separate portal for ads in areas of housing, employment and credit. The parties agreed to monitor the changes for three years and to study the potential that the algorithm creates unintended bias. Finally, Facebook promised to change how it targets audiences for advertisements without using protected classes like race and gender to generate an audience. On March 19, 2019, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their complaint.

As of April 2020, the settlement was being enforced.

Summary Authors

Cianan Lesley (4/8/2019)

Emma Himes (4/1/2020)

Related Cases

Mobley v. Facebook (Onuoha v. Facebook), Northern District of California (2016)

National Fair Housing Alliance et al. v. Facebook, Southern District of New York (2018)

Spees v. Facebook, No Court (2018)

Communications Workers of America v. Facebook, No Court (2018)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7528178/parties/riddick-v-facebook-inc/


Judge(s)

Beeler, Laurel (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Rava, Alfred Gerard (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Blavin, Jonathan H. (California)

Kim, Elizabeth Ann (California)

Patashnik, Joshua (California)

Ring, Rosemarie T (California)

Judge(s)

Beeler, Laurel (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Rava, Alfred Gerard (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Blavin, Jonathan H. (California)

Kim, Elizabeth Ann (California)

Patashnik, Joshua (California)

Ring, Rosemarie T (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:18-cv-04529

Docket

March 19, 2019

March 19, 2019

Docket
26

3:18-cv-04529

Third Amended Class Action Complaint Demand for Jury Trial

Nov. 19, 2018

Nov. 19, 2018

Complaint

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7528178/riddick-v-facebook-inc/

Last updated May 31, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

NOTICE OF REMOVAL of Civil Action from San Mateo County Superior. Their case number is 16-CIV-02526. (Filing fee $400 receipt number 0971-12545723). Filed byFacebook Inc.. (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 7/26/2018) (Entered: 07/26/2018)

July 26, 2018

July 26, 2018

RECAP
2

Civil Cover Sheet by Facebook Inc. . (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 7/26/2018) (Entered: 07/26/2018)

July 26, 2018

July 26, 2018

PACER
3

Declaration of Rosemarie T. Ring in Support of 1 Notice of Removal of Civil Action filed byFacebook Inc.. (Related document(s) 1 ) (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 7/26/2018) (Entered: 07/26/2018)

July 26, 2018

July 26, 2018

PACER
4

Corporate Disclosure Statement by Facebook Inc. and Certification of Interested Entities or Persons Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 3-15 (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 7/26/2018) (Entered: 07/26/2018)

July 26, 2018

July 26, 2018

PACER
5

Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler. Counsel for plaintiff or the removing party is responsible for serving the Complaint or Notice of Removal, Summons and the assigned judge's standing orders and all other new case documents upon the opposing parties. For information, visit E-Filing A New Civil Case at http://cand.uscourts.gov/ecf/caseopening.Standing orders can be downloaded from the court's web page at www.cand.uscourts.gov/judges. Upon receipt, the summons will be issued and returned electronically. Counsel is required to send chambers a copy of the initiating documents pursuant to L.R. 5-1(e)(7). A scheduling order will be sent by Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) within two business days. Consent/Declination due by 8/9/2018. (srnS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/26/2018) (Entered: 07/26/2018)

July 26, 2018

July 26, 2018

PACER
6

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Facebook Inc. re 1 Notice of Removal and Related Documents (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 7/27/2018) (Entered: 07/27/2018)

July 27, 2018

July 27, 2018

PACER
7

STIPULATION JOINT STIPULATION SETTING BRIEFING SCHEDULE ON MOTION TO DISMISS SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT filed by Facebook Inc.. (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 8/3/2018) (Entered: 08/03/2018)

Aug. 3, 2018

Aug. 3, 2018

PACER
8

CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Facebook Inc... (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 8/9/2018) (Entered: 08/09/2018)

Aug. 9, 2018

Aug. 9, 2018

PACER
9

Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 10/18/2018. Initial Case Management Conference set for 10/25/2018 11:00 AM in San Francisco, Courtroom C, 15th Floor. (fabS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/10/2018) (Entered: 08/10/2018)

Aug. 10, 2018

Aug. 10, 2018

PACER
10

CLERK'S NOTICE Re: Consent or Declination: Plaintiffs shall file a consent or declination to proceed before a magistrate judge. Note that any party is free to withhold consent to proceed before a magistrate judge without adverse substantive consequences. The forms are available at: http://cand.uscourts.gov/civilforms. Consent/Declination due by 8/17/2018. (ejkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/10/2018) (Entered: 08/10/2018)

Aug. 10, 2018

Aug. 10, 2018

PACER
11

NOTICE of Appearance by Alfred Gerard Rava for Plaintiffs Bert Riddick and Allan Candelore (Rava, Alfred) (Filed on 8/16/2018) (Entered: 08/16/2018)

Aug. 16, 2018

Aug. 16, 2018

PACER
12

CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Bert Riddick.. (Rava, Alfred) (Filed on 8/16/2018) (Entered: 08/16/2018)

Aug. 16, 2018

Aug. 16, 2018

PACER
13

RESPONSE to FACEBOOK'S MOTION TO CONSIDER WHETHER CASES SHOULD BE RELATED PURSUANT TO CIVIL LOCAL RULES 3-12 AND 7-11 by Bert Riddick. (Rava, Alfred) (Filed on 8/27/2018) (Entered: 08/27/2018)

Aug. 27, 2018

Aug. 27, 2018

PACER
14

STIPULATION Regarding Response to Complaint filed by Facebook Inc.. (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 8/30/2018) (Entered: 08/30/2018)

Aug. 30, 2018

Aug. 30, 2018

PACER
15

NOTICE of Change In Counsel by Rosemarie Theresa Ring (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 9/5/2018) (Entered: 09/05/2018)

Sept. 5, 2018

Sept. 5, 2018

PACER
16

ORDER RE: MOTION TO CONSIDER WHETHER CASES SHOULD BE RELATED. The court finds the cases are not related within the definition of Rule 3-12 and will not order a reassignment. Signed by Judge Edward J. Davila on 9/10/2018. (ejdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/10/2018) (Entered: 09/10/2018)

Sept. 10, 2018

Sept. 10, 2018

RECAP
17

Certificate of Interested Entities by Allan Candelore and Bert Riddick, Plaintiffs (Rava, Alfred) (Filed on 10/2/2018) (Entered: 10/02/2018)

Oct. 2, 2018

Oct. 2, 2018

PACER
18

ADR Certification (ADR L.R. 3-5 b) of discussion of ADR options for Plaintiff Allan Candelore (Rava, Alfred) (Filed on 10/4/2018) (Entered: 10/04/2018)

Oct. 4, 2018

Oct. 4, 2018

PACER
19

ADR Certification (ADR L.R. 3-5 b) of discussion of ADR options for Plaintiff Bert Riddick (Rava, Alfred) (Filed on 10/5/2018) (Entered: 10/05/2018)

Oct. 5, 2018

Oct. 5, 2018

PACER
20

ADR Certification (ADR L.R. 3-5 b) of discussion of ADR options (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 10/5/2018) (Entered: 10/05/2018)

Oct. 5, 2018

Oct. 5, 2018

PACER
21

CLERK'S NOTICE RESETTING CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE: Based on a scheduling conflict, the court moves the initial CMC to Thursday, 11/1/2018 at 11:00 AM in San Francisco, Courtroom B, 15th Floor. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (ejkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/9/2018) (Entered: 10/09/2018)

Oct. 9, 2018

Oct. 9, 2018

PACER
22

STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER Continuing Initial CMC and Related Dates filed by Facebook Inc.. (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 10/18/2018) (Entered: 10/18/2018)

Oct. 18, 2018

Oct. 18, 2018

PACER
23

STIPULATION Extending Deadline to Respond to Second Amended Complaint filed by Facebook Inc.. (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 10/18/2018) (Entered: 10/18/2018)

Oct. 18, 2018

Oct. 18, 2018

PACER
24

ORDER by Judge Laurel Beeler granting as modified 22 Stipulation and Order Continuing Initial CMC and Related Dates.Facebook will respond to the Second Amended Complaint by 10/31/2018. The plaintiffs will file a Third Amended Complaint by 11/19/2018. Facebook will file a motion to dismiss by 12/17/2018. The plaintiffs will file their opposition by 1/14/2019. Facebook will file its reply by 2/4/2019. The hearing on Facebook's motion to dismiss will be on 2/28/2019 at 9:30 a.m.The parties will file their joint case management statement by 3/28/2019. The initial case management conference will be on 4/4/2019 at 11:00 a.m. (lblc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/18/2018) (Entered: 10/18/2018)

Oct. 18, 2018

Oct. 18, 2018

PACER
25

MOTION to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint filed by Facebook Inc.. Motion Hearing set for 2/28/2019 09:30 AM in San Francisco, Courtroom B, 15th Floor before Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler. Responses due by 11/19/2018. Replies due by 11/26/2018. (Attachments: # 1 Request for Judicial Notice, # 2 Declaration of Rosemarie T. Ring and Exhibits A-B)(Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 10/31/2018) (Entered: 10/31/2018)

1 Request for Judicial Notice

View on PACER

2 Declaration of Rosemarie T. Ring and Exhibits A-B

View on PACER

Oct. 31, 2018

Oct. 31, 2018

PACER
26

AMENDED DOCUMENT by Bert Riddick. Third Amended Complaint. (Rava, Alfred) (Filed on 11/19/2018) (Entered: 11/19/2018)

Nov. 19, 2018

Nov. 19, 2018

PACER
27

STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER Continuing Motion Hearing, Initial Case Management Conference and Related Dates filed by Facebook Inc.. (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 12/13/2018) (Entered: 12/13/2018)

Dec. 13, 2018

Dec. 13, 2018

PACER
28

ORDER by Judge Laurel Beeler granting as modified 27 Stipulation and Proposed Order Continuing Motion Hearing, Initial Case Management Conference and Related Dates.Facebook will file a motion to dismiss the Third Amended Complaint by 1/17/2019. The plaintiffs will file their opposition by 2/18/2019. Facebook will file its reply by 3/14/2019. The hearing on Facebook's motion to dismiss will be on 3/28/2019 at 9:30 a.m.The parties will file their joint case-management statement by 4/25/2019. The initial case-management conference will be on 5/2/2019 at 11:00 a.m. (lblc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/14/2018) (Entered: 12/14/2018)

Dec. 14, 2018

Dec. 14, 2018

PACER
29

STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER Continuing Motion Hearing, Initial Case Management Conference and Related Dates filed by Facebook Inc.. (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 1/16/2019) (Entered: 01/16/2019)

Jan. 16, 2019

Jan. 16, 2019

PACER
30

ORDER by Judge Laurel Beeler granting as modified 29 Stipulation and Proposed Order Continuing Motion Hearing, Initial Case Management Conference and Related Dates.Facebook will file a motion to dismiss the Third Amended Complaint by 2/21/2019. The plaintiffs will file their opposition by 3/28/2019. Facebook will file its reply by 4/11/2019. The hearing on Facebook's motion to dismiss will be on 5/2/2019 at 9:30 a.m.The parties will file their joint case-management statement by 5/30/2019. The initial case-management conference will be on 6/6/2019 at 11:00 a.m. (lblc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/17/2019) (Entered: 01/17/2019)

Jan. 17, 2019

Jan. 17, 2019

PACER
31

STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER VACATING CASE DEADLINES AND SETTING STATUS REPORT DEADLINE filed by Facebook Inc.. (Ring, Rosemarie) (Filed on 2/20/2019) (Entered: 02/20/2019)

Feb. 20, 2019

Feb. 20, 2019

RECAP
32

ORDER by Judge Laurel Beeler granting 31 Stipulation. Per the parties' stipulation, the court vacates all case deadlines and dates, except for the initial case-management conference, which remains set for June 6, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. The parties must file a joint status report on or before March 18, 2019. (lblc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/20/2019) (Entered: 02/20/2019)

Feb. 20, 2019

Feb. 20, 2019

RECAP
33

NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal PURSUANT TO FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 41 by Bert Riddick (Rava, Alfred) (Filed on 3/19/2019) (Entered: 03/19/2019)

March 19, 2019

March 19, 2019

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Public Accommodations/Contracting

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 26, 2018

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Private individuals alleging discrimination by Facebook's advertising tools and advertiser defendants

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

Outten & Golden

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Mooted before ruling

Defendants

Facebook Inc., Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Order Duration: 2019 - 2021

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Disparate Treatment

Housing

Website

Discrimination-basis:

Age discrimination

Immigration status

Language discrimination

National origin discrimination

Race discrimination

Religion discrimination

Sex discrimination

Race:

Race, unspecified

Affected Gender:

Female