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Facebook is under fire for housing ads by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, says are discriminatory.
HUD said Friday that it has filed a complaint accusing the beleaguered tech giant of violating the Fair housing act, because the company allows landlords and sellers to engage in housing discrimination.
The social network allows advertisers to determine who sees what their housing related ads based on the users of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, and zip code, according to a statement from the HUD. This allows advertisers to limit the housing to certain groups of people, that is discriminatory.
The problem of discriminatory housing advertising is not new for Facebook.
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An investigation of ProPublica, in 2016, it appears that people are focusing on the housing ads in the direction of certain racial and ethnic groups and away from others. At the time, Facebook said it would fix the problem.
A year later, ProPublica found Facebook was engaging in the same problematic practices by the targeted ads get through their system.
Facebook is under fire for its housing related ads since 2016.
All of the excluded groups are protected under the Fair housing act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, country of origin and the other classes.
“There is no place for discrimination on Facebook; it is strictly forbidden in our policy. The past year we have strengthened our systems to further protect against abuse,” Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesperson, told CNET via e-mail. “We are aware of the statement of interest is submitted and will respond in the court; and we continue to work directly with HUD to address their problems.”
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According to HUD, Facebook also promotes the targeted advertising platform with “success stories” to find “the perfect landlords” and “attracting tenants.”
HUD said the Prosecutor of the V. S. for the Southern District of New York filed a statement of interest, entered into by HUD, in the District of the V. S. court on behalf of private parties challenging Facebook advertising platform.
Facebook has also been hit by civil rights groups for its new, stricter policy on the authentication of the identity for all the places of political ads on the site. The groups claim that these practices are discriminatory against Latinos and others.
Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering science and technology for FoxNews.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.