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Facebook to delete 5,000 ad targeting options to avoid discrimination

Time:2018-08-22 14:16:00 Source: Xinhua China Youth International

   Facebook said Tuesday it is removing more than 5,000 targeting categories to prevent misuse of its ad platform that could trigger controversy of discrimination.

  The world's largest social media network said it is updating its ad targeting tools to remove these options that can be used to exclude certain religious and ethnic minority groups from advertising activities.

  Facebook, which has recently been under heavy scrutiny for discrimination on its platform, made the announcement a few days after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) accused it of violating the Fair Housing Act by allowing ads to discriminate against some protected groups.

  The HUD filed a complaint last Friday that Facebook was helping landlords and home sellers to run advertisements that block individuals of a certain race, religion, sex, national origin and various other categories.

  Facebook said Tuesday that it wants to educate advertisers about their obligations and comply with its non-discrimination policy, so as to prevent misuse of its ad platform.

  "We're committed to protecting people from discriminatory advertising on our platforms. That's why we're removing over 5,000 targeting options to help prevent misuse," Facebook said.

  "While these options have been used in legitimate ways to reach people interested in a certain product or service, we think minimizing the risk of abuse is more important," it added.

  The U.S. tech giant said it will roll out the new certification gradually to U.S. advertisers in the next few weeks, which will limit the their ability to "exclude audiences that relate to attributes such as ethnicity or religion."

  In April, Facebook announced a decision to permanently remove advertisers' ability to use targeting tools that exclude people from their ads based on users' race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion.

  It signed an agreement with Washington state in July to ban discriminatory advertisements on its platform that prevent certain groups from viewing ads of housing, credit, employment, insurance and public accommodations.

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