Facebook halts advertisers from using targeting to exclude racial groups

Posted on December 1, 2017
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Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Facebook is disabling some ad-targeting options because it’s been revealed how those those options can be used to discriminate against people.

First, some backstory. A little over a year ago, Facebook came under fire for enabling advertisers to skirt federal housing laws and use its quasi-racial ad-targeting options to discriminate against people based on ethnicity (African American, Asian American and Hispanic). Then, earlier this year, Facebook said that it would institute a system to reject housing-, employment- or credit-related ads that exclude racial groups. However, last week, ProPublica revealed that system to be porous. In response, Facebook is temporarily disabling advertisers from using its multicultural affinity ad targeting options to exclude people in those segments from seeing an ad.

“ProPublica recently found that safeguards we put in place earlier this year were not as comprehensive as they should have been.

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