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Monday, August 20, 2018

HUD will investigate Facebook for housing discrimination

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Friday that it will investigate Facebook for housing discrimination, saying that the social media giant violated the Fair Housing Act by allowing housing ads that filter out minorities and other protected groups.

"When Facebook uses the vast amount of personal data it collects to help advertisers to discriminate, it’s the same as slamming the door in someone’s face," Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement.

HUD filed a formal complaint against the company, which will kick off an investigation, on the grounds that it offers advertisers discriminatory options, such as hiding ads from Facebook users who have expressed interests in particular churches or who appear to be parents — or who live in specific zip codes. Facebook also has promoted its housing advertisement business as helping as helping developers find "the perfect homeowners."


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