HUD charges Facebook with discriminatory practices, violations of Fair Housing Act

Nation: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has charged Facebook, Inc., with discriminatory practices, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Due in part to Facebook’s options for advertisers with its “Custom Audiences” and “Lookalike Audiences,” the advertisers can use a list of specific people whom the advertiser wants included in or excluded from the eligible audience for an ad.

Per HUD’s legal document filed for charge of discrimination: Facebook’s “ad delivery system prevents advertisers who want to reach a broad audience of users from doing so. Even if an advertiser tries to target an audience that broadly spans protected class groups, Respondent’s ad delivery system will not show the ad to a diverse audience if the system considers users with particular characteristics most likely to engage with the ad. If the advertiser tries to avoid this problem by specifically targeting an unrepresented group, the ad delivery system will still not deliver the ad to those users, and it may not deliver the ad at all.”

The charges follow from a statement of interest filed in August 2018.




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