Facebook allows ads that discriminate – disability discrimination

Facebook allows ads that discriminate against disabilities and others. It’s disability discrimination violating federal laws.

A formal complaint was lodged by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Facebook is facing allegations that unlawfully exhibit disability discrimination by allowing advertisers to restrict certain Facebook users receiving housing ads.

The federal agency noted that Facebook uses it large volume of data to enable estate agents and landlords to hide ads from those who opt for categories such as:

Assistance guide Dog

Mobility Scooter


Deaf Culture

and many more….

This is clearly a violation of the Fair Housing Act. The Act bars disability discrimination in housing transactions and it’s adverts.

Anna Maria Farías,  who is assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity at the agency – had this to say:

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

She added that, when the social media giant uses large volumes of data collected to assist advertisers in disability discrimination – it’s compared to having a door slammed shut in your face.

Not only does this discriminate disabilities, but allows housing providers and estate agents to put a filter on what sex, race, number of children and ages, zip code and religion can view their ads.

When the HUD puts in a complaint, a formal fact finding investigation is triggered where a charge of unlawful discrimination can be lodged.

The complaint comes after a lawsuit that was filed against Facebook by the National Fair Housing Alliance which outlined similar housing discrimination claims. There was a “statement of interest” filed by US attorney for the Southern District of New York last week.

The social media giant plans to respond to the statement of interest in court – and will address HUD concerns.

Facebook spokesperson stated that:

“There is no place for discrimination on Facebook; it’s strictly prohibited in our policies. Over the past year we’ve strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse”

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