Mon. Mar 30th, 2020

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Facebook to Make Credit and Job Ads Searchable

2 min read

Facebook claims it will allow U.S. loans, financing, and job ads to be searchable. Read on for more details.

Facebook Set to Make Credit, Job Advertisements Searchable

After announcing that they will make sure that advertisements for U.S. loans, jobs, and credit card offers are searchable, they added a legal settlement created to combat discrimination blamed on its ad-targeting.

Facebook has expanded on their promise to make its U.S. based housing ads searchable by advertiser and location.

Until recently, ads were strictly delivered selectively. Who sees the ads was based on Facebook’s data, such as income, shopping preferences, and education level.

Laura Murphy, a former American Civil Liberties Union executive, was hired to assess Facebook’s performance on such vital social issues.

The searchable housing ads are slated to roll out at the end of 2019, according to Facebook.

Targeting or Discrimination?

Targeted ads are the main source of Facebook’s income. Therefore, it seems unlikely that this change will affect Facebook’s revenue in any serious way. However, some analysts have warned that such restrictions could scare off potential advertisers. This move is likely a result of increasing pressure from regulatory bodies on Facebook. Also, it is likely a signal to lawmakers that Facebook is capable of taking care of its own platform.

Due to a settlement with the National Fair House Alliance and ACLU, Facebook agreed to cease targeting people based on zip code, gender, and age, as well as to eliminate some categories, such as sexual orientation and national identity.

Certain groups have sued Facebook, claiming the violation of anti-discrimination laws. Their claim was based on prevention of certain groups, such as the disabled and single mothers, from seeing housing ads.

Hate Speech Policy

Civil rights groups are worried that Facebook’s proprietary, secret algorithms that govern targeted ads could still be considered discriminatory. Facebook is still facing a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development complaint about ad-targeting housing advertisements. They are also dealing with anti-trust and privacy investigations in both Europe and the U.S. over invasive data collection practices.

The company’s trying to remove “harmful content,”  with their new monitor program. This program includes an additional 20,000 outsourced content moderators who are supposed to monitor the 2.3 billion-user platform.

Murphy’s team recommended ending humor as a potential caveat to hate speech, as well as creating better systems for blocking harassment. Defining hate speech, which varies by language, region, culture, and nation, is an almost impossible task, and almost certainly doomed to fail.

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