Facebook commits to ending ad discrimination

Facebook has signed a binding agreement to end advertisers’ ability to exclude users from targeting according to demographics including race and sexual orientation.

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The social media group signed an Assurance of Discontinuance following a 20-month investigation by the Attorney General for the U.S. State of Washington, which has resulted in legally binding pledges that were announced April 24 to prevent what it termed the “abuse” of ad targeting.

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The issue was first raised in 2016 by ProPublica, which purchased adverts on the platform and was able to exclude minority groups from being targeted.

Facebook is currently facing a lawsuit bought by the National Fair Housing Alliance, a coalition of campaign groups, which contends that it engaged in or assisted discriminatory housing practices.

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The Assurance of Discontinuation will apply to Facebook’s operations throughout the U.S. WikiTribune has reached out to Facebook for comment and to ask about compliance in other jurisdictions.

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