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Justice Dept., Meta settle lawsuit over discriminatory housing ads system
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Justice Dept., Meta settle lawsuit over discriminatory housing ads system

Meta agrees to change housing advertisement system. Meta judged to have violated Fair Housing Ac.

Where: United States

The Facts

Meta has agreed to implement changes to its housing advertisement system in order to resolve a Justice Department lawsuit accusing it of permitting landlords to practice discriminatory advertising on its Facebook platform.
The lawsuit was announced Tuesday in a Justice Department statement that called the settlement agreement “groundbreaking” and the case the first to challenge algorithmic bias under the Fair Housing Act.
“This settlement is historic, marking the first time that Meta has agreed to terminate one of its algorithmic targeting tools and modify its delivery algorithms for housing ads in response to a civil rights lawsuit,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said.
The agreement, which still needs to be approved by the court, stems from a 2019 lawsuit brought against Meta, then-called Facebook, that found its advertising system allowed landlords to target and deliver housing advertisements to some users of the social media platform while excluding others.
According to the complaint announced Tuesday, Meta violated the Fair Housing Act by encouraging advertisers to target housing ads based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin and family status.

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