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Facebook will temporarily disable a tool that lets advertisers exclude people of color

Facebook will temporarily disable a tool that lets advertisers exclude people of color
From TechCrunch - November 30, 2017

Facebook has been under fire for its practices and policies that enable advertisers to exclude multicultural affinity groups from the audiences they reach via the social network. Now, in light of a ProPublica investigation and pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus, Facebook says its committed to taking a closer look at its advertising policies, its COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a letter to CBC Chairperson Cedric Richmond.

Until Facebook figures out how to ensure advertisers dont use its tools in a discriminatory way, Facebook will temporarily disable the option that lets advertisers exclude multicultural affinity groups from their audience. As Sandberg wrote in her letter to the CBC, multicultural affinity groups are made up of people whose activities on Facebook suggest they may be interested in ads related to the African American, Hispanic American, or Asian American communities.

Multicultural marketing, Sandberg said in her letter, is common in the ad industry. There are many legitimate uses for this kind of marketing, she said, but there are also concerns that advertisers use Facebook to discriminate against people in the areas of housing, employment and credit loans.

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