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Facebook is Fighting Discriminatory Advertising with Updated Policies and Tools

Tyrone Stewart

Facebook-Mark-Zuckerberg-f8.jpgFacebook has updated its ad policies and enforcement tools in a bid to protect against discriminatory advertising – following on from the social network’s commitment to do so back in November.

The internet giant has updated its policies to make it clear that advertisers cannot discriminate against people based on factors such as race, ethnicity, colour, religion, sex, disability, and others. In addition, it has introduced an education section for advertisers – to provide additional information about the policy update, as well as ‘educational resources from government agencies and civil rights groups that specialise in combating discrimination’.

On top of the policy changes, Facebook says it is testing new technology that leverages machine learning to help it identify ads that offer housing, employment or credit opportunities. As part of this, when an advertiser attempts to show an ad, that Facebook identifies as one of these opportunities, it will be disapproved if it does not meet discrimination guidelines. Furthermore, adverts featuring these opportunities will require self-certification to they comply with the updated policies and anti-discrimination laws.

“Over the past several months, we’ve met with policymakers and civil rights leaders to gather feedback about ways to improve our enforcement while preserving the beneficial uses of our advertising tools,” said Facebook’s newsroom. “We heard concerns that discriminatory advertising can wrongfully deprive people of opportunities and experiences, particularly in the areas of housing, employment and credit, where certain groups historically have faced discrimination.”