HUD complaint accuses Facebook ads of violating Fair Housing Act

A new complaint filed Friday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) accuses Facebook of helping landlords and home sellers violate the Fair Housing Act. According to the grievance filed by the department, Facebook’s ad settings let sellers disregard laws by targeting specific demographics.

HUD says that the ability to tailor Facebook advertisements to bar individuals of a certain race, religion, sex, national origin and various other categories is a clear violation of the rule, which was enacted as part of the 1968 Civil Rights Act.

“The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination including those who might limit or deny housing options with a click of a mouse,” Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity,…

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