Facebook is letting advertisers target or, more precisely, exclude demographics by race, according to ProPublica.
The news site purchased a housing ad and found that under the “Narrow Audience” heading in the “Ethnic Affinity” category, it could exclude groups like African-Americans and Hispanics from ever seeing it.
Since this is entirely illegal under the federal Fair Housing Act, ProPublica reached out to Facebook, which maintained the company has no tolerance for discrimination. Facebook’s privacy and public policy manager Steve Satterfield told ProPublica that “Ethnic Affinity” is not the same as race, and is instead based on pages and posts people have engaged with.
However, Facebook declined to address why ProPublica’s ad excluding minorities was approved within 15 minutes of placing the order.
Read more at ProPublica.