The US government, according to an AP new release sourced in the Japan Times, charges Facebook with high-tech housing discrimination via add access. According to this article the firm allegedly allows landlords and real estate brokers to systematically exclude groups such as non-Christians, immigrants and minorities from seeing ads for houses and apartments. The civil charges filed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development could cost the social network firm with millions of dollars in penalties. Sources point out that there are algorithms that can separate groups of people and selectively allow some to see certain ads, while others are blocked from view.
Facebook was surprised about the charges, and made it clear that it is working with HUD to address its concerns and has taken steps to prevent discrimination, including thousands of ads that could be misused. The move was part of a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union and other activists. This is a situation in which the firm is now under scrutiny by many of the US university types – they are focused on all issues that are social justice in nature.
The HUD charges are now seen as a possible prelude to a wider regulatory crackdown on the digital advertising industry, which is dominated by Google and Facebook. These companies are likely to be under siege from lawmakers who are now discussing changes that are necessary in the industry. Regulators and activists are now looking more closely at the US and Europe – with the Europeans now embracing all of the new ideas from the Far Left.
US regulators are now taking broader aim at the digital advertising market. Facebook also allegedly allowed advertisers to exclude parents, those who are non-American born, non-Christians, and others. This is a clear shot across the bow of the big tech companies. The was a settlement with the ACLU according to sources. More on this issue later in the week.