Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Facebook & Discriminatory Advertising

Facebook has long suffered accusations that different groups have used the social media platform for discriminatory purposes in advertising.  In particular, landlords, employers, and lenders have been at the forefront of such allegations. Facebook, as part of a just announced settlement of these accusations, has just agreed to a major reworking of its advertising system. From the Washington Post:

"The new advertising platform will introduce technological barriers to companies promoting housing, employment and credit ads from significantly restricting their intended audience. . .  No longer will they be able to target — or exclude — users based on religious and political views or Zip code, which advocates argue serves as a proxy for race."

The settlement represents a major step in this area, and as a reminder of the discriminatory potential of social media.

- Joe Seiner


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