Facebook to overhaul ad-targeting system after discrimination complaints

Facebook Won’t Let Employers, Landlords or Lenders Discriminate in Ads Anymore

The decision settles a number of lawsuits against Facebook brought by, among others, the National Fair Housing Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Communications Workers of America. Facebook has limited the type of targeting advertisers can use when running housing, employment and credit ads, which are categories protected by federal law to prevent discrimination.

Facebook announced Tuesday that it will block landlords and creditors from using a person's demographic data including a person's zip code, gender and age, to target certain groups in online advertisements.

As part of five settlements totalling nearly $5m, Facebook has agreed to make major changes to its ad platform to curb discrimination against people when it comes to employment, housing and financial ads, according to Axios.

Those rights advocacy groups filed a lawsuit past year against Facebook for unlawfully discriminating against certain populations via their ad targeting tools. The new ad policy applies to advertisers targeting U.S. users on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. It's how they company made US$56-billion in revenue a year ago."There is a lot of pressure on Facebook and its ability to target ads", said eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

Furthermore, Facebook will introduce a new tool which will allow users to view and search for all the housing ads in the U.S., even if the ads are not shown to users.

The housing groups conducted investigations in San Antonio, Texas, Miami, and other cities, creating ads that excluded families with children, women, the disabled, African-Americans, Hispanics, and people with certain national origins - all without consumers ever knowing they had been excluded. While the platform has been clamping down on discriminatory misuse of ad tools, it has also been helping businesses extend their reach.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington Sept. 5 2018
Facebook vows to tackle discrimination with ad-targeting overhaul

Discrimination hasn't been Facebook's only problem with ad targeting. Ads for other products will still have access to the same targeting tools.

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said that inclusivity is a core value for the company and putting a stop to the "long history" of discrimination in the three areas is therefore, a priority.

Given the complexity of ad targeting, Facebook will have a hard time putting up restrictions.

Endlessly customizable ad targeting is Facebook's bread and butter. The Menlo Park, California-based internet giant, criticised for years about privacy breaches, hate speech and its use by Russian Federation and others to interfere with elections, has been under intense scrutiny since last week when an alleged gunman livestreamed the mass murder of 50 people in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Since algorithms train on data from actual usage, they skew towards existing biases for or against the chosen audience.

Mammoth tank fire burning near Houston
Still, city and county officials warned that smoke from the fire could cause skin and eye irritation and respiratory issues . Some Houston-area residents were urged to remain indoors as a fire burns at a petrochemicals terminal Monday morning.

Related News:



Most liked

Islamic State fighters pinned on Syrian riverbank, warplanes fly above
Hundreds of injured and sick suspected IS militants were captured during the SDF's push for control of the encampment, he said. ISIS's defeat at Baghouz will end its control of inhabited land in the third of Syria and Iraq that it captured in 2014.

Ferry capsize kills 72 in Iraq's Mosul: medics
The interior ministry spokesperson says 71 people, including many children, are confirmed dead, according to NPR's Jane Arraf. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi ordered an investigation and expressed deep condolences to families of the victims.

Over 20,000 Facebook employees had access to 600 million user passwords
Facebook shared information about the security incident soon after it was first reported by Krebs on Security . Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook popular among people in parts of the world with less connectivity.

Facebook Messenger Now Rolling Out Message Replies for Threaded Conversations
Since the replies don't interfere with the text thread, the original message remains visible after it's been responded to. Facebook recently announced that it will merge the Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Biden Telling Supporters He Plans to Run for President
Representative Beto O'Rourke, who each raised about $6 million their first day in the contest. Kamala Harris and O'Rourke are the only other candidates polling in double figures.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Honor New Zealand Shooting Victims
Members of the public can visit New Zealand House to sign the book with their own messages of sympathy until 21 March at 5:30 p.m. This senseless attack is an affront to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand, and the broader Muslim community.

Opera for Android With Built-In VPN Now Available
It's a free and unlimited service that Opera believes "marks a new standard for privacy and security in mobile browsing". The built-in VPN was rolled out to beta testers early last month who were tasked with helping to work out the kinks.

Sixers star Joel Embiid has low key clap back at Terry Rozier
With 13 points that were mostly quiet, he found his impact through passing, rebounding, and defense. "I didn't see it coming". Philly understandably had plenty of motivation going into this game, and both sides brought playoff intensity.

ISIS will be eliminated tonight - Trump declares
SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali posted on Twitter: "This is not a victory announcement, but a significant progress in the fight". The siege has also been slowed by the unexpectedly large number of civilians in Baghuz, majority families of IS members.

Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim Addresses Frank Howard Suspension
On Wednesday afternoon, new broke that Syracuse basketball star Frank Howard has been suspended for the NCAA Tournament. Tyus Battle , Howard's backcourt mate, would seem a likely candidate, though Boeheim would not tip his hand.

Italian driver hijacks and torches school bus full of children
The driver of a school bus has been arrested in Milan after allegedly setting the vehicle on fire with 51 children onboard. Human rights groups said deaths might have increased with hardly any boats now searching for the would-be refugees.

Facebook reveals more details about how Christchurch terror attack video spread
After the livestream ended, the video was viewed a further 3,800 times before being taken down, Facebook said. But the video was viewed about 4,000 times before Facebook removed it, he added.

How Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott Are Doing Amid Cheating Rumors
She is still devastated about Jordyn and had an argument with Travis after she checked his phone and saw something that she didn't like.

Manchester City 'closing on Saul Niguez deal'
City are on the look out for a defensive-minded midfielder to provide competition for - and eventually to replace - Fernandinho. Barcelona has also had interest in Saul, who was interested in joining the club before ultimately deciding upon City.

Hundreds of hotel guests secretly filmed and live-streamed online
About 1,600 hotel guests in 10 South Korean cities were victims of an illicit "spy camera" scheme, local police announced this week.