Facebook Charged with Housing Discrimination

Facebook Charged with Housing Discrimination

Facebook Charged with Housing Discrimination

Facebook Charged with Housing Discrimination

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on March 28, 2019 that they will be charging Facebook with violating the Fair Housing Act. 

As stated in their announcement, HUD claims that Facebook’s advertising platform encourages housing discrimination. 

These charges are a follow-up to their investigation of a Secretary-initiated complaint which was filed in August 2018.   

HUD’s allegations state that Facebook discriminates based on race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, sex, and disability by restricting those who will see housing related ads on Facebook. 

HUD claims that Facebook collects specific data about its users and then uses that data, in part, to decide which users will be able to view housing-related ads.  

The claim states that Facebook allows their advertisers, in this case, landlords and home sellers, to choose and exclude people who fall into certain categories from seeing their housing ads offering this advertising platform as targeted advertising. These categories of exclusion range from the readers’ interests, to nationality, to religion, to sex, to what neighborhood they live in, and so on. These Facebook practices would be enabling advertisers to exclude people, in protected classes, from seeing the advertisements.

“The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing transactions including print and online advertisement on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status.” www.HUD.GOV

For more information and to keep up to date, visit HUD’s official website

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