Facebook implements new policies to combat racial discrimination in advertising

Author: Alex Hern, Guardian UK, Published on: 10 February 2017

“Facebook stops advertisers illegally discriminating by race”, 9 February 2017

Facebook has updated its advertising policies to ban discrimination based on…personal characteristics, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or age. Accompanying new policies is a section aimed at educating advertisers about [permitted] ad targeting…, both in terms of Facebook’s own policies and applicable national laws…Facebook plans to use new…“machine learning”… technology… to identify…offenders. [This] follows accusations that [Facebook]… offered tools that allow advertisers to break American anti-discrimination laws, through an… “ethnic affinity” profiling…ad-targeting feature... Although Facebook emphasise[s]…the feature, is not the same as racial profiling, a…wave of negative publicity arrived in October 2016, when ProPublica reported that… [it] could be used to exclude particular groups from advertising for home sales. That is explicitly banned under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, due to America’s long history of segregation. Now, if Facebook’s tools think that a user is attempting to implement “multicultural advertising segments” targeting unlawfully, it will [en]force… [a] manual review, with a Facebook employee explicitly checking…compliance. And for housing, employment and credit adverts…the company is asking advertisers to explicitly certify their compliance with relevant laws.

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Related companies: Facebook