Marketing

Facebook’s reportedly still allowing discriminatory housing ads

HUD has reportedly closed its inquiry into the giant social network
  • After banning housing advertisers from targeting users by race, Facebook allows housing advertisers to target users by race.
  • The social network said allowing the continued purchase of discriminatory rental ads was "due to a technical failure" and pledged to "do better."

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When it comes to preventing housing discrimination, Facebook appears to be falling far short of its promises. A year ago, Facebook announced it would bar housing ads targeted by race from its social network. In February, the $528 billion company announced improved enforcement of that ban, but investigative journalism nonprofit ProPublica has found that Facebook is still letting housing advertisers exclude users by race. The news outlet was the first to raise concerns in October 2016 that some discriminatory housing-related ads could slip through Facebook’s vetting system after buying an ad that targeted Facebook users who were house hunting and excluded anyone with an "affinity" for African-American, Asian-American or Hispanic people. Last week, ProPublica again tested whether Facebook would allow the purchase of discriminatory ads. The news outlet bought dozens of Facebook rental housing ads and asked that they be hidden from certain types of users, such as African ...