Facebook is bound to take action against discrimination, preventing users from posting discriminatory ads. On February 8th, the company revealed a new set of machine-learning tactics and new rules, disallowing people to use discriminatory ad-targeting practices. The automated toolset which was recently incorporated will help Facebook identify advertisements displaying employment, housing opportunities, and housing.
The new tool will flag these ads if that particular site will utilize the system referring to “multicultural affinity targeting.” The main idea is that if those ads were developed to ask Facebook not to share them with Hispanics, Asian-Americans or African-American, then the site will automatically try to block the ad, sending a relevant message.
Then, the companies which built the advertisements may either give up their cultural limitations from ads, or they could ask for a manual review to get their approval. Nevertheless, if the toolset unveils this kind of advertisement, but it does not focus upon apparent cultural targeting, then ad companies will be directed to certification notice which will need to be signed.
This announcement is bound to determine advertisers to promise that they will not use Facebook to discriminate improperly. This notification coincides with updating language in the advertiser-policy documents regarding discrimination. Back in October, a report showed that there existed several problems in the advertising platform of the social network due to running and buying discriminatory ads.
This announcement does not explicitly clarify what the terms which the social network will track to recognize such an ad are. What is more, the statement does not indicate that the social network will later scrutinize any advertiser who gets the notice and decides to alter the ad to eliminate trackable terms.
Moreover, the announcement did not make clear whether there will be needed any changes regarding the multicultural targeting system beyond changing the name from “ethnic affinity targeting.” The American Civil Liberties Union had the chance to take a look at Facebook’s efforts of implementing the new toolset and requested other such companies to implement similar systems regarding advertisements.
Every ad platform should be interested in implementing this system o target ads which are part of these categories, making them impossible to be used to disregard viewers by using reasons like religion, race, class status or race.
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