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Facebook removes over 5,000 ad targeting options

Facebook has removed over 5,000 ad targeting options in an effort to curb discrimination on the social media platform.

The platform has previously come under fire for the way advertisements in its platform have been misused, and these changes are a direct attempt to limit who advertisers can and cannot exclude from their ads.

“While these options have been used in legitimate ways to reach people interested in a certain product or service, we think minimising the risk of abuse is more important,” reads a statement put out by the company.

“This includes limiting the ability for advertisers to exclude audiences that relate to attributes such as ethnicity or religion.”

Additionally, the platform noted its desire to educate advertisers about their obligations, noting it has required advertisers to identify offering housing, employment or credit cards to certify compliance with its non-discrimination policy.

“We’ve designed this education in consultation with outside experts to underscore the difference between acceptable ad targeting and ad discrimination,” reads the statement.

“We’ll expand this to advertisers using our other tools and APIs, and those in additional countries, over time.”

The move is potentially in relation to a complaint filed against Facebook last week by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development over potentially discriminatory ads which excluded people interested in things such as “Islamic culture” or “mobility scooters” from ever seeing the ad.

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