Facebook Still Allowing Discriminatory Housing Ads

Last year, ProPublica revealed that Facebook's advertising features were allowing discriminatory housing advertisements in conflict with Fair Housing Act. After promising to improve, Facebook still fails the standards of federal law.
November 22, 2017, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Julia Angwin, Ariana Tobin, and Madeleine Varner report that Facebook is still allowing discriminatory advertising practices despite promises to change it policy.

"Last week, ProPublica bought dozens of rental housing ads on Facebook, but asked that they not be shown to certain categories of users, such as African Americans, mothers of high school kids, people interested in wheelchair ramps, Jews, expats from Argentina and Spanish speakers," according to the reporters. "Every ad was improved in minutes."

The practice violates the federal Fair Housing Act, prohibits any advertisement "with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin."

Ami Vora, vice president of product management at Facebook, sent an email to the reporters in response to the revelation, saying the system is failing its commitments. 

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Published on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 in ProPublica
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