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Facebook to end discriminatory ad targeting

Facebook to end discriminatory ad targeting

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MUMBAI: Facebook has signed an agreement with the state of Washington to stop third-party advertisers from excluding protected groups and minorities from seeing their ads.

The social media platform has announced that the move is part of a long process to make sure that the tools and filters used to target ads on Facebook are fair, civil and safe, according to Reuters. 

“We’ve removed thousands of categories related to potentially sensitive personal attributes — like race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion — from our exclusion targeting tools,” the company said in a statement. 

Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson said, “Facebook’s advertising platform allowed unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, sexual orientation, disability and religion.”

Now, Facebook will have to make the necessary changes on the platform nationwide within 90 days.

The agreement will also include a 20-month investigation by Washington State’s office that began after non-profit ProPublica published an article on Facebook’s advertisement targeting alleging advertisers could exclude users by race.

Facebook vice president of state and local policy Will Castleberry said in a statement: “Discriminatory advertising has no place on our platform, and we’ll continue to improve our ad products so they’re relevant, effective, and safe for everyone.”

Facebook has faced several legal actions over its advertising policies. In March this year, National Fair Housing Alliance sued the social media giant for excluding groups of people based on characteristics such as family status or sex from receiving ads about housing.

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