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US regulators target Facebook on discriminatory housing ads

Posted at 2:11 PM, Aug 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-17 15:11:21-04

NEW YORK (AP) – Federal regulators have served Facebook with a complaint alleging the company’s advertising tools allow landlords and real estate brokers to engage in housing discrimination.

Justice Department lawyers disclosed the complaint by the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Friday in a court filing made in a lawsuit brought against Facebook by advocacy groups last spring.

The lawsuit says Facebook’s systems allow people placing real estate ads to exclude certain audiences from seeing them, like families with young children or disabled people.

In its filing Friday, the Justice Department took the side of the housing advocates, saying the company was enabling advertisers to engage in conduct that violates housing law.

It said HUD served its separate complaint Tuesday.

Facebook didn’t immediately comment but has previously denied wrongdoing.

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