The American for-profit corporation and popular free on-line social media networking website/service Facebook was recently under fire for a practice that many analysts viewed as being excessively discriminatory. As a result, the company changed how it lets advertisers use its “ethnic affinity” marketing service. It will no longer let them exclude specific ethnic or racial groups in different type of campaigns. Furthermore, Facebook announced it will enforce new tools that will automatically check all running campaigns by matching the campaign type and content with different algorithms in order to make sure that this feature will be used as it was initially intended: only to provide “multicultural audiences with more relevant advertising”.
During the last week alone, Facebook was targeted by a new lawsuit filed by three of its users who complained that the company’s advertising practice is in violation with the Civil Rights Act of 1964(the Fair Housing Act and Title VII). Another case where Facebook’s advertising policies were questioned is from the end of last month when nonprofit news outlet ProPublica revealed how easy it was for anyone creating an advertisement on Facebook to target for example just members who were house hunting but exclude anyone with an “Ethnic Affinity” of Asian-American, African-American or Hispanic.