Facebook reportedly allows advertisers to exclude racial groups in housing ads

| October 29, 2016

article image
Facebook advertisers can now exclude racial and ethnic groups when creating a housing ad on the social media site, according to a report from ProPublica.

The feature, called “ethnic affinities," lets advertisers exclude certain groups of Facebook users. Under the federal Fair Housing Act, people are prohibited from discriminating based on race, gender, religion and other factors.

ProPublica created an ad aimed at house hunters and got it approved in 15 minutes despite excluding African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics. Facebook declined to comment to the site about its approval.

When ProPublica told prominent civil rights lawyer John Relman about the feature, he called it "horrifying" and "massively illegal."

"This is about as blatant a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act as one can find," Relman said.

Steve Satterfield, Facebook's privacy and public policy manager, told ProPublica that use of the site's “Ethnic Affinity” tool is not the same as discriminating based on race.

Satterfield added the “Ethnic Affinity” option was created over the past two years during a so-called multicultural advertising effort. Facebook believes multicultural advertising helps advertisers target users with an array of interests across different communities.

Spotlight

Ad Council

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of public service advertising campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives.

OTHER ARTICLES

The 6 Best Digital Sales Prospecting Techniques

Article | October 14, 2020

A full sales pipeline is a goal for many organizations. But the reality is that it can be difficult to keep the pipe flowing, especially with high quality leads. For most sales reps, prospecting likely isn’t their favorite part of the job. It takes a lot of time and effort to identify and develop leads, but prospecting is essential. Without buyers to sell to, there really isn’t any point to having a sales operation. That’s why it’s important for your sales team to have a wide skill set when it comes to prospecting. The more sales prospecting techniques a rep knows, the more effective they are in driving interest, and ultimately revenue.

Read More

The Agile Path to Engagement: Solving the Personalization Challenge with AI

Article | August 12, 2020

The depth of customer engagement depends, in large part, on how personalized the shopping experience is. If a customer feels like a brand knows them as an individual among thousands of other customers, they will purchase more from that brand, more often, and remain loyal. The path to 1:1 marketing is paved with personalization, and while there are many personalization tools out on the market, it’s hard to understand which one(s) to pick. This can become particularly challenging when distracted by a shiny UI — though usability is, of course, vitally important to the marketing teams who desperately need personalization tools.

Read More

AI in Buyer’s Journey: How Important It Is for Marketers to Know About It

Article | April 10, 2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently one of the fastest evolving technologies in the world. In 2016, the AI market was valued at $4.06 billion. By 2025, this sector will have a market capitalization value of $164.41 billion, signaling a 55.6% rise in compound annual growth rates. Today AI is everywhere you turn. You will find it in the auto, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, education, legal, retail, and marketing industries. The technology now runs self-driving vehicles, crucial medical equipment, and various programs and platforms online. Businesses such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and IBM are heavily invested in AI development. These platforms are also continuously making this technology more accessible to users. You can, for instance, access Google’s AI via its RankBrain search engine algorithm. This AI interprets search queries to provide Google’s users with the most relevant results.

Read More

The Role of AI in digital marketing

Article | March 4, 2020

The rage of social media has led to the emergence of social networking. With that, the competition to engage the audience on online platforms and entice them has become fierce. Brands are adopting novel strategies to enhance customer experience and increase brand value. The advent of technology and a myriad of innovations has reinvented the marketing industry. Amongst many, artificial intelligence and augmented reality are an integral part of the digital marketing landscape. AI and its applications have not left any sector untouched, and its forms are far beyond mundane.

Read More

Spotlight

Ad Council

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of public service advertising campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives.

Events