Facebook To Ban ‘Ethnic Affinity’ Targeting For Housing, Employment, Credit-Related Ads

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SAN ANSELMO, CA - MAY 09:  The Facebook website is displayed on a laptop computer on May 9, 2011 in San Anselmo, California.  An investigation by The Pew Research Center found that Facebook has become a player in the news industry as the popular social media site is driving an increasing amount of traffic to news web sites.  (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By Kathleen Chaykowski

After weeks of push back from U.S. lawmakers, media and civil rights leaders, Facebook FB -1.44% on Friday announced it will stop allowing advertisers to use “ethnic affinity” to target the reach of employment, housing and credit-related ads with the aim of better preventing discrimination on the social network.

Facebook’s policies ban discriminatory advertising content or “ad creative.” However, before Friday, Facebook allowed advertisers to use “ethnic affinity,” among a host of other signals such as gender, age, favorite movies, food preferences and geography, to determine the reach of any type of ad, including ads related to housing, employment and credit services.

“Recently, policymakers and civil rights leaders have expressed concerns that advertisers could misuse some aspects of our affinity marketing segments,” Erin Egan, Facebook’s vice president of U.S. public policy and chief privacy officer, said in a blog post. “Specifically, they’ve raised the possibility that some advertisers might use these segments to run ads that discriminate against people, particularly in areas where certain groups have historically faced discrimination — housing, employment and the extension of credit.”

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Arnaldo Rodgers Posted by on 9:44 am, With 0 Reads, Filed under General News, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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