Tags: Media Bias | facebook | ads | fair housing act | social networks

ProPublica: Facebook Advertisers Excluding Users by Race, Other 'Ethnic' Factors

ProPublica: Facebook Advertisers Excluding Users by Race, Other 'Ethnic' Factors

 Facebook

By    |   Saturday, 29 October 2016 07:01 PM

Facebook is allowing its advertisers to exclude certain groups of people based on "ethnic affinities" — including race, gender and other attributes — which is barred by federal law in housing and employment, a study has found.

ProPublica bought an ad under Facebook's housing categories through the social networking company's advertising portal and targeted it to Facebook members who were looking for houses and excluded anyone with an "affinity" for African Americans, Asian Americans or Hispanics, the news organization found.

Its report included a screen shot of the ad.

"This is horrifying," John Relman, a civil rights attorney, told ProPublica. "This is massively illegal.

"This is about as blatant a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act as one can find," he said.

Under the 1968 Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to "make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or 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."

In addition, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also bars the "printing or publication of notices or advertisements indicating prohibited preference, limitation, specification or discrimination" in employment recruitment.

In May, Facebook — based in Menlo Park, Calif. — came under fire after Gizmodo.com quoted several former contract employees who said conservative stories were routinely deleted from trending topics and blacklisted conservative news sites, including Newsmax.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Facebook employees worked to have Donald Trump's anti-Muslim posts removed as hate speech in December but were eventually overruled by owner Mark Zuckerberg.

According to ProPublica, Facebook builds its model on allowing advertisers to "target specific groups — or, apparently to exclude specific groups — using huge reams of personal data the company has collected about its users."

"Facebook’s microtargeting is particularly helpful for advertisers looking to reach niche audiences, such as swing-state voters concerned about climate change," for instance, according to the report.

ProPublica said that Facebook placed its users in "nearly 50,000 unique categories."

Steve Satterfield, Facebook's privacy and public policy manager, said that company policies barred advertisers from using the targeting options for discrimination, harassment, disparagement or predatory advertising practices.

"We take a strong stand against advertisers misusing our platform: Our policies prohibit using our targeting options to discriminate, and they require compliance with the law," he told ProPublica. "We take prompt enforcement action when we determine that ads violate our policies."

Satterfield declined to say, however, why ProPublica's housing-categories ad that excluded minority groups was approved 15 minutes after the order was placed.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
Facebook is allowing its advertisers to exclude certain groups of people based on ethnic affinities - including race, gender and other attributes - which is barred by federal law in housing and employment, a study by ProPublica has found.
facebook, ads, fair housing act, social networks
434
2016-01-29
Saturday, 29 October 2016 07:01 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved