Meta has been charged to offer advertisers the possibility of filtering their customers according to gender, social background or religion.
Meta, Facebook's parent company, has agreed to change its ad targeting methods and pay US$115,054 (approximately C$150,000) in fines to end a lawsuit by the US government, which accused Facebook of facilitating racial discrimination and sexism.
According to the US government, social networking technologies allowed advertisers to choose who could see their advertisements, based on gender, skin color, social background, religion, family status or even of their physical situation.
This is a historic agreement, said Kristen Clarke, civil rights officer at the Department of Justice, quoted in a press release on Tuesday .
This is the first time Meta will terminate one of its algorithmic targeting tools and change its algorithms for housing ads after civil rights lawsuits, she added.
Meta claims that Russian accounts actively seek to redirect users to disinformation sites.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Planning filed a lawsuit against Facebook in March 2019, alleging companies used the platform's tools to exclude people classified as relatives, not born in the United States. United, not Christian, interested in disability access, Hispanic culture, or a wide range of other interests.
The x27;agreement reached on Tuesday after a year of talks still needs to be approved by a court.
It calls for the California-based social media giant to change its targeting system for housing ads, in order to avoid these biases, under the control of the ministry.
Meta has been accused of discriminating against certain groups of people looking for accommodation.
Meta has explained that it is working on a method that is supposed to guarantee that users who see these advertisements, but also those for jobs or credits, better correspond to the public targeted and eligible for these offers, said Roy Austin, vice president of the group in charge of civil rights, in a press release.
He recalled that the company, world number two in digital advertising, had already changed its practices after the 2019 complaint: advertisers who broadcast housing offers on our platforms already only have access #x27;to a limited number of targeting criteria […], including restrictions on age, gender or postal code. Our new method is built on this foundation.
But given the complexity of the problem, he said, it will take time to test and implement.< /p>