The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has charged Facebook with violating the Fair Housing Act as Facebook’s targeted advertising a socio-economic and other gender and race-based indicator to “encouraging, enabling, and causing” discrimination against people. HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement, “Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face.”
In 2016, it was discovered that Facebook was using certain filters that enabled an advertiser to exclude black or Hispanic users from watching certain ads.
And this month Facebook, in order to settle accusations against themselves, agreed to change their policy so that their platform couldn’t be used discriminating against people by withholding certain demographic info. such as age, gender, ZIP Codes etc.
A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement, “We’re surprised by HUD’s decision, as we’ve been working with them to address their concerns and have taken significant steps to prevent ads discrimination.”
He Added, “Last year we eliminated thousands of targeting options that could potentially be misused, and just last week we reached historic agreements with the National Fair Housing Alliance, ACLU, and others.”