Facebook 'allowed property adverts to discriminate against minorities'

Facebook 'allowed property adverts to discriminate against minorities'

Facebook has been accused of approving discriminatory adverts

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

An investigation has alleged that Facebook allowed housing adverts to discriminate against minorities.

Reporters from American investigative journalism company ProPublica bought advertising space on the social media site for rental properties, according to The Independent.

It was then able to put filters on the advertisements which meant they could not be seen by groups of people such as Jews, African-Americans, Spanish speakers and those who were interested in ramps for wheelchairs.

Even though Facebook guidelines explain promoting properties for rent should not "discriminate against a protected class" and this "can be reported and will be removed from Facebook" the adverts were still approved.

A spokesperson for the social media site has claimed the adverts should have been put under an extra review when submitted but this didn't happen due to a “technical failure."

Ami Vora, Facebook’s vice-president for product management, also said: "We’re disappointed that we fell short of our commitments."

Vora also claimed that despite this error, Facebook has previously flagged up millions of advertisements which may have broken rules on discrimination.

In future, Vora added that the website will encourage all those using it for advertising to confirm they are not breaking laws on discrimination. Previously it only asked those promoting housing, employment and credit to do this.