Facebook updates ad policy over discrimination concern

Facebook Inc. will no longer allow marketers to target ads by ethnic affinity for certain types of housing, employment or credit, responding to concerns that its practices were discriminatory. The company said it had been meeting with congressional leaders and organisations including the American Civil Liberties Union after a ProPublica report that explained how Facebook’s ads could be targeted to exclude minorities from seeing certain opportunities. The company’s ad system will automatically disable the use of ethnic marketing, Facebook said Friday in a statement. After the original report in October, the company pointed out that its tools weren’t necessarily discriminatory. Facebook’s advertising business has succeeded in part because of the wealth of information it has about its 1.79 billion users, allowing businesses to target their promotions very specifically. But users and anti-discrimination leaders continued to push back against the policies. (Sarah Frier/Bloomberg)

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