Last February, Facebook said it would step up enforcement of its prohibition against discrimination in advertising for housing, employment or credit. However to test this, last week ProPublica bought several rental housing ads on Facebook and asked that they not be shown to certain categories of users, such as African Americans, mothers of high school kids, people interested in wheelchair ramps, Jews, expats from Argentina and Spanish speakers.
ProPublica reports: “All of these groups are protected under the federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to publish any advertisement ‘with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.’ Violators can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
“Every single ad was approved within minutes.”
We can encourage Facebook to uphold justice and the law. Write Facebook at: One Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025.
Possible Script: ProPublica has revealed that Facebook allows rental agencies to create discriminatory ads that exclude people based on race, age, wheelchair use, and religion. Bias in housing is a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Please keep your word and bring your company into compliance with civil rights. (If applicable, mention you will stop buying ads if this continues.)
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