The feds charged Facebook on Thursday with violating the Fair Housing Act by “encouraging, enabling and causing” discrimination in advertising on its platforms.
The charges by the Department of Housing and Urban Development come a week after the tech giant announced that it would overhaul its ad-targeting systems to tackle discrimination in housing, credit and employment ads as part of a sweeping settlement with civil rights groups.
“Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a release. “Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face.”
In August 2018, Carson accused Facebook of enabling housing discrimination by allowing advertisers to exclude people based on race, color, national origin, religion, family status, gender and disability after a preliminary investigation that began during the Obama administration.