Big Tech

Facebook allowed housing and employment advertisers to exclude users with Indigenous interests

Facebook said it has disabled advertisers from screening out housing and employment applicants who are interested in Indigenous Peoples, hours after being contacted by The Logic.

More than a year after the social network said it would ramp up enforcement of its ban on discriminatory practices, we were able to create 12 ads for either housing or employment applications, each one containing demographic criteria that blocked them from appearing on certain users’ Facebook feeds.

Each ad we tested excluded viewers based on at least one demographic or interest category related to race, ethnicity, culture, age, gender or marital status. The platform barred us from hiding ads from users interested in or identifying as demographics including “African American,” “Black,” “Mexican,” “American Indian,” “Italian,” “queer” and “transgender.”

We were, however, able to hide ads from people who’ve indicated interest in the terms “Indigenous peoples,” [sic] “metis,” [sic] “Anishinaabe” and “Cree.” Facebook approved all of these ads, in most cases in under five minutes.

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