Technology

Facebook to bar housing ads targeted by race

Social media giant takes action after discussions with policymakers
  • Facebook announced the change after meeting with policymakers and civil rights leaders to discuss concerns that advertisers could discriminate against minorities.
  • In a blog post, the company said it will develop tools "to detect and automatically disable" the use of ethnic affinity marketing for ads "that we identify as offering housing, employment, or credit."

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Facebook will bar marketers from hiding housing-related ads placed on the social network from ethnic groups. The social media behemoth announced the change after meeting with policymakers and civil rights leaders to discuss concerns that the social media site could allow advertisers to discriminate against minorities. In a blog post, the company said it will develop tools "to detect and automatically disable" the use of ethnic affinity marketing for ads "that we identify as offering housing, employment, or credit." Facebook also said it will update its advertising policies to "be even more explicit and require advertisers to affirm that they will not engage in discriminatory advertising on Facebook." And it will offer educational materials to "to help advertisers understand their obligations with respect to housing, employment and credit." Facebook had already prohibited ads that involved illegal discrimination, citing in a blog post "an apartment that won’t ren...