Facebook is making changes to their company advertising policy in an effort to slash thousands of options that allow advertisers to target certain ethnicities and engage in discriminatory advertising.

The decision to cut the options, which was first reported by HousingWire, comes in the wake of a discrimination complaint filed against the social networking giant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The agency says that Facebook’s online advertising program enabled discriminatory practices by letting ad purchasers target and limit ads for properties “based upon the recipient’s race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, and/or ZIP code.”

“We’re committed to protecting people from discriminatory advertising on our platforms,” Facebook said in a blog post. “That’s why we’re removing over 5,000 targeting options to help prevent misuse.”

“While these options have been used in legitimate ways to reach people interested in a certain product or service, we think minimizing the risk of abuse is more important,” the post continues.

In the coming weeks, Facebook says they will roll out a new certification tool to all advertisers.

Advertisers will be required to complete this certification in order to continue advertising on our site,” said Facebook. “We’ve designed this in consultation with outside experts to underscore the difference between acceptable ad targeting and ad discrimination.”

Email Patrick Kearns

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription