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Breaking News: Feds Sue Facebook Over Discriminatory Housing Advertisement System

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development escalated its actions against Facebook, even after the social media giant had settled a lawsuit with civil rights organizations and taken steps to reform its advertising system.
March 28, 2019, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Mark Van Scyoc

"The Department of Housing and Urban Development sued Facebook on Thursday for engaging in housing discrimination by allowing advertisers to restrict who is able to see ads on the platform based on characteristics like race, religion and national origin," reports Katie Benner and Glenn Thrush.

"In addition to targeting Facebook’s advertising practices," according to the article the lawsuit accuses the company of "[using] its data-mining practices to determine which of its users are able to view housing-related ads."

Facebook recently settled a lawsuit filed in March 2018 by the National Fair Housing Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights organizations over its advertising practices.

Previously, HUD filed a complaint against Facebook's advertising practices in August 2018, but today's news takes the Trump administration's action against the social media giant a significant step further.

Still, HUD has not had a strong record on housing discrimination enforcement during the Trump administration, as detailed in an article by Glenn Thrush from March 2018.

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Published on Thursday, March 28, 2019 in The New York Times
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