On Tuesday, an overall resolution was agreed by Facebook Inc. together with the U.S. civil rights groups. The agreement designed to prevent discrimination and other “harmful” practices on its platform, particularly on ads/advertising.
A joint statement by the rights group mentioned what is in the contract, consisting of creating new advertising portal for ads linked to housing, employment, and credit ads.
Instagram and Messenger, beyond other all services, were part of the ads that are limited for targeted options.
A separate system will be used by some advertisers on the internet service provider. Advertising other bunch of services will not be reachable by age, gender, cultural affinity, or zip code.
A minimum geographic extension will be enforced in locating targets for preventing the lockout of certain communities.
In the United States, a promised tool will be assembled by the company to search all the existing housing ads that are recorded, despite of the ads that were fixed by them.
In a separate statement, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said, “There is a long history of discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, and credit, and this harmful behavior should not happen through Facebook ads.”
The world’s largest social network with 2.7 billion users, with annual revenue of nearly $56 billion, is at controversy over its advertising practices.
The company is also avoiding issues about Russia’s privacy scandals and disclosures, particularly in relation to the previous 2016 U.S. presidential election program conflict.
In 2016, ProPublica, which is an investigative journalism, published an article concerning advertisers capable of targeting ads on Facebook based on people’s self-reported jobs even if the job was “Jew hater”. It is when criticism over ads-based discrimination bent in the company.
Even if Facebook said it was disabling such ads, ProPublica revealed it has bought discriminatory housing ads and slip them past Facebook’s review process.
In association with the other groups and individuals, the National Fair Housing Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Communications Workers of America bestowed legal pressure over the issue on Facebook.
Groups from the five separate lawsuits professed that the company’s audience selection tools permitted advertisers to ban explicit demographics from seeing job postings and other opportunities.
As part of Tuesday’s settlement, head of the Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio Sandra Tamez said, “Facebook’s settings allowed advertisers to create ads that excluded people of color or families with children.”
The Federal Fair Housing Act under the US law indicates that, it is illegal to publish certain types of ads if they indicate a preference based on race, religion, sex, or other specified classifications.
A similar incident also happened in Washington, in which Facebook dealt with the state about ending discrimination on ad targeting. Thousands of classifications sensitive to personal attributes from its exclusion ad targeting tools were already taken out.
Last September 30, besides the new adjustment, Facebook committed to creating its ads portal and to implementing other changes by the end of the year.
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