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HUD files housing discrimination complaint against Facebook

Joe Mont | August 20, 2018

In an unusual action against a social media company, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced a formal complaint against Facebook for “violating the Fair Housing Act by allowing landlords and home sellers to use its advertising platform to engage in housing discrimination.”

HUD claims Facebook enables advertisers to control which users receive housing-related ads based upon the recipient’s race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, and/or zip code.

“Facebook then invites advertisers to express unlawful preferences by offering discriminatory options, allowing them to effectively limit housing options for these protected classes under the guise of ‘targeted advertising,’ ” the agency alleges.

“The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination including those who might limit or deny housing options with a click of...

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