Facebook Makes Job, Housing, Credit Ads Searchable, Eliminates Other Targeting Triggers

Facebook plans to make ads for jobs, loans and credit card ads searchable for all its U.S. users, based on an agreement made in March following a legal settlement.

The searchable database that makes U.S. housing ads searchable by location and advertiser, along with the other databases, expands on an agreement to eliminate discrimination.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development earlier this year charged Facebook with discrimination for allowing advertisers to restrict who can view their housing ads. 

The database consisting of searchable housing ads will launch at the end of this year, with the employment and financial product databases following in 2020.

On Sunday, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg introduced the second update on how the company will advance civil rights on its platform and noted where it needs to do more.

Facebook’s community policy standards state what’s allowed on the site and are key to ensuring people can freely and safely connect and share content, she wrote.

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“In March, we built upon our longstanding ban against white supremacy after speaking with civil-rights leaders, experts across the political spectrum and academics in race relations,” Sandberg wrote. “We now ban praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism.”

But that’s not enough, she said.

The latest report recommends Facebook ban content that supports white nationalist ideology, even if the keyword terms “white nationalism” and “white separatism” aren’t explicitly used. The company’s also addressed discrimination in Facebook Ads by removing thousands of categories that target people related to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion.  

This searchable database for housing, employment and credit-card ads will no longer target by age, gender or ZIP code. It will have a much smaller set of targeting categories overall — but all will become searchable on the platform.

While it’s not yet clear the type of technology Facebook will use to target these ads, the new structure aims to ensure advertisers follow these rules, with plans for full enforcement by the end of the year.

Sandberg also notes that Laura Murphy, a civil-rights and civil-liberties advocate, began leading the audit at Facebook more than a year ago with support from the noted civil-rights law firm Relman, Dane and Colfax. 

Search Marketing Daily reached out to Facebook for additional answers, but there was no comment at press time.

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