Facebook unveils new housing ad controls, settles discrimination lawsuits

Kyle Dean & Hunter Royal – Select Group Social Team

Facebook is making changes to its online ad platform for housing as part of its settlement agreements that end five prior discrimination lawsuits filed against them.

Over the last two years, Facebook has repeatedly found itself in legal disputes over alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act on its ad platform, even after Facebook claimed to take steps to solve the problem.

As part of their settlements in five different lawsuits, Facebook is now separating ads for housing, employment, and credit on its ad manager. Facebook will no longer allow advertisers to target audiences based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, family status, among other protected characteristics.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement, “Housing, employment, and credit ads are crucial to helping people buy new homes, start great careers, and gain access to credit. They should never be used to exclude or harm people. Getting this right is deeply important to me and all of us at Facebook because inclusivity is a core value for our company.”


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