Facebook attempts to stop discrimination, after supporting it, and profiting from it, for years.

From HousingWire:

Facebook making massive changes to ad platform after being accused of enabling housing discrimination

Facebook is making significant changes to its advertising platform after the social media monolith was accused of enabling discrimination in housing, employment, and lending.

The changes come after years of scrutiny into Facebook’s ad practices, which appeared to allow advertisers to purposefully exclude certain people from seeing housing, employment, or lending ads.

Last year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development filed a complaint against Facebook, claiming that the social media giant’s advertising platform enabled property owners to discriminate against prospective renters and buyers based on their race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, or other factors.

HUD’s investigation began in response to a ProPublica article in October 2016, which said Facebook gave advertisers the ability to exclude certain ethnic groups from seeing the ads.

Fair housing groups later filed a lawsuit against Facebook in March 2018, saying its ads still discriminate against protected groups under the Fair Housing Act, including women, veterans with disabilities and single mothers.

After HUD filed its complaint against Facebook, the site announced that it was removing more than 5,000 ad target options to “help prevent misuse.” The site claimed that the removed options include “limiting the ability for advertisers to exclude audiences that relate to attributes such as ethnicity or religion.”

But Facebook announced Tuesday that it is undertaking a massive overhaul of its advertising platform that goes well beyond any of the previously announced changes.

According to Facebook, it will no longer allow anyone or any company to target housing, employment, or credit ads by age, gender or zip code.

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, Mortgages, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Facebook attempts to stop discrimination, after supporting it, and profiting from it, for years.

  1. grim says:

    First day of spring – will the spring market be a bust? From Forbes:

    Homebuyers Can ‘Take Their Time’ This Spring As Home Price Growth Continues To Stall

    Home price growth has reached its slowest point since March 2012, a turning point for the market when prices stopped declining and instead started rising.

    In the last year, national home prices have jumped just 0.6%, according to the Housing Market Tracker from real estate firm Redfin. Just one year ago, annual home price gains were nearing 10%.

    Add in that housing inventory is on the rise (data shows the number of homes for sale is up 2.9% since February 2018), and Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist for Redfin, says buyers “will have more power” as we head into the historically hot spring market.

    “With more options for buyers, we aren’t going to see nearly as many bidding wars or fast sales as we did last spring,” Fairweather said. “Buyers will be able to take their time looking at all of their options. Also, mortgage rates are lower than they’ve been in a year, which is another plus for buyers because it makes buying a home more affordable.”

    According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.31% last week—the lowest it’s been since February 2017. Analysis from Black Knight shows that declines in mortgage rates, combined with slowing price growth, have increased consumer buying power by 6%.

    Ben Graboske, Black Knight’s president of data and analytics, says recent housing data spells “good news” for today’s buyers.

    “Combined with the average 30-year fixed rate declining by more than half a point over the last three months, housing is now the most affordable it’s been since early in the 2018 homebuying season,” Graboske said.

  2. D-FENS says:

    Good job Ben

  3. Blue Ribbon Teacher says:

    Facebook advertising has been very stupid lately. I bought some seeds for a particular tomato variety a few weeks back. Facebook has consistently tried to sell me those same seeds with their ads. Why not offer something different that I haven’t already bought?

  4. grim says:

    Whoa, major breaking news in the 737-MAX saga:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2019/03/jump-seat-pilot-and-boeing-737-max/585301

    This is a material change – not only does it raise the question of pilot training and capability, but maintenance as well – why was the Lion Air plane not taken out of service to be repaired? Why were two different crews completely unfamiliar?

  5. Blue Ribbon Teacher says:

    I was thinking it would be good to have a bot that just searches a bunch of random things on retail sites just to spam the data collection mechanisms.

  6. chicagofinance says:

    Wait, Pumpkin is a real person? I thought he just appeared on my NJ RE Report feeds because of the stuff I clicked on Facebook?

  7. Grim says:

    Would just make your data more profitable.

  8. leftwing says:

    Chi, good humor yesterday. Glad it still exists, assuming the author hasn’t already been sanctioned by UPenn lol. I may be in the neighborhood, relatively speaking, to be able to drop into the Brown game. They just need to win.

    Re: the interwebs, I think the time is ripe for a Wiki/Craigslist like substitute for a search engine and Facebook. Has to be an fairly simple task to write those programs, including one that could ‘convert’ your current Facebook account without any effort. Make them essentially NFP, take voluntary donations like Wiki. No data collection, no selling details or ads, no censoring. Back to the frontier days. The engineers involved won’t make a bazillion dollars (and maybe more importantly they will not endear themselves to those who make those who make bazillions of dollars). But I’m sure they’ll do well.

    On the plane crashes it’s an interesting development. There was some foreshadowing yesterday with one CNBC guest emphasizing how US pilots state the planes were safe and querying what distinguished the crashes….How hard is it to override an automatic system that is fighting you? I’m not involved in aviation at all and even I know of the MCAS issue and the override switch is prominent just from news reports…

    Plus, aside from manual override being explicitly on the aviation emergency checklist isn’t it just common sense? I mean, if I have my car’s cruise control on for 70mph and for nine minutes the damn thing keeps taking me up to 95mph, even after I keep braking, what do I do? Keep stomping the brakes for 10 miles as it keeps accelerating me faster and faster? Or just turn the damn thing off?

  9. leftwing says:

    Spread on BMY/CELG through $39 yesterday. Missed my window to double down at my entry price of $32 delta, was looking for a discount. Going to get slammed on FDX today. Have a covered call but that will likely only absorb 50% of the indicated decline…need to figure out if I dump at open or ride it out…Second of my two recent ‘winners’….

  10. Fast Eddie says:

    Disney acquires FOX but not FOX news, I believe. I’m sure you’ve all seen this.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/disney-closes-71b-deal-fox-042155153.html

  11. Ottoman says:

    You’re into sc@t p0rn?

    chicagofinance says:
    March 20, 2019 at 8:47 am
    Wait, Pumpkin is a real person? I thought he just appeared on my NJ RE Report feeds because of the stuff I clicked on Facebook?

  12. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I’m guilty of taking this position with pilots. Now you know why they should be paid a good salary to maintain professionalism.

    “Think of this, the next time you hear that modern airplanes “just fly themselves,” with professional pilots as paid bystanders.”

  13. Ottoman says:

    My next door neighbors just got 4 full price or above offers on their house which was priced at top dollar and listed for about a week. Even they thought it was overpriced. The realtor knew better. Winning buyers also paid all the real estate commissions and waived all inspection items which my neighbor said would have cost him over 10k.

    Guess the people on the other side of them weren’t crazy when they spent $100,000 on landscaping and a heated driveway last year.

    —“With more options for buyers, we aren’t going to see nearly as many bidding wars or fast sales as we did last spring,” Fairweather said.

  14. The Great Pumpkin says:

    We do this too much in our society. We automatically assume what someone should be paid without ever doing the job. Oh, this guy is overpaid….

    I’m guilty of doing that with Police and Firemen. At the end of the day, those jobs truly suck and you do have to risk your life for people that hate you. Not too easy.

  15. Ottoman says:

    Disney prefers to peddle in believable fantasy.

    Fast Eddie says:
    March 20, 2019 at 9:18 am
    Disney acquires FOX but not FOX news, I believe. I’m sure you’ve all seen this.

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  18. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Also becoming a cop means losing real relationships. Everyone is fake to you. They all hate you and talk behind your back, but put up a false front when with you in person.

    On top of that, you have to deal with the biggest losers in life every single day. Go confront a wife beater. Go deal with the town druggie and acholic. F that.

    Same with teachers. Wild claims that it is an easy part-time job. I just don’t buy it, no job is easy, especially when dealing with kids and crazy parents.

  19. Ottoman says:

    Disney prefers to peddle in believable fantasy.

    Fast Eddie says:
    March 20, 2019 at 9:18 am
    Disney acquires FOX but not FOX news,

  20. Fast Eddie says:

    As opposed to MSNBC, who are totally non-bias, right?

  21. The Great Pumpkin says:

    This market seems to reward homes that are turnkey where everything is nice including landscaping. There is not much inventory with nice homes. It’s loaded with crap. So if your neighbors take care of their home and you take care of your home, there will be a bidding war for it if it is in commuting distance of the city along with good schools.

    I love it. You are rewarded for taking care of your home and keeping it updated. Why… supply and demand. Low supply of quality homes…

    Landscaping seems to be worth every penny. You have a dream yard, it’s easy to sell. Like taking candy from a baby.

    This is my opinion, but it seems to reflect the market.

    Houses that sit seem to not be desirable. If a home is nice, even if it is overpriced, it seems to sell.

    Ottoman says:
    March 20, 2019 at 9:40 am
    My next door neighbors just got 4 full price or above offers on their house which was priced at top dollar and listed for about a week. Even they thought it was overpriced. The realtor knew better. Winning buyers also paid all the real estate commissions and waived all inspection items which my neighbor said would have cost him over 10k.

    Guess the people on the other side of them weren’t crazy when they spent $100,000 on landscaping and a heated driveway last year.

  22. leftwing says:

    From the SDA article…

    “But questions about the management decisions of Delgado-Polanco, a veteran union leader who is also the vice chairwoman of the Democratic State Committee….”

    LOL. What kind of management decisions other than questionable would one expect from a person with those credentials.

    Incredible how the populace blames the wealthy for ‘stealing their money’ when the cheap political hacks are cleaning out middle class wallets right in the open.

  23. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I don’t know what to think. Every single powerful economy in our country is located in high tax states. Kansas lowers taxes and almost destroys their state. Florida lowers taxes and it helps them significantly. So it’s not a one-way street when analyzing the impact of taxes. It’s really a complicated issue.

    Look at this angle.

    “Astounding and thought-provoking, thanks!
    So, all else equal, a higher corp tax rate would translate into higher budget revenues and then, higher public spending on infrastructure and projects, which would in turn boost capital spending and, consequently, GDP. Would this be correct?
    On the downside, one might argue, lower corp earnings reduce shareholder earnings, although a big part of it ends up as cash idling on accounts, rather than being put to work.

    Also wondering if we could compare to other countries with fewer and/or less steep corporate tax cuts. Do the experience the same or lower (or maybe higher) GDP growth?”

    http://behindthenumbers.ca/2015/09/09/canadas-failed-experiment-with-corporate-income-tax-cuts/#comments

    leftwing says:
    March 20, 2019 at 10:34 am
    The first minute is the part worth listening to lol….

    https://www.cnbc.com/video/2019/03/20/florida-senator-rick-scott-weighs-in-on-floridas-tax-policy.html

  24. The Great Pumpkin says:

    She is playing the game better than us….I’ll tell you that. You don’t get in that kind of position without knowing how to play the game of politics. She prob would move up in the corporate world with no problem whatsoever if she was able to pull this off in NJ politics. She seems to be Dominican….so this is pretty impressive for a Dominican Woman to pull off.

    That’s why corruption is impossible to stop. These people are good at playing the game.

    “LOL. What kind of management decisions other than questionable would one expect from a person with those credentials.”

  25. Libturd, can't say I didn't warn you. says:

    Pumps. Your mind is simply demented. This corrupt POS has never worked an honest day in her life. Even her degree in Labor Relations is from a now defunct college that the AFL-CIO sent union leadership to learn how to lobby politicians in exchange for benefits. She has made an absolute career out of convincing union members and Latino’s to vote for Democratic candidates in exchange for favor.

    “In 2001, she spearheaded then-Governor James E. McGreevey’s Statewide Latino Base Voter Program, resulting in the largest percentage of Latino votes ever cast for a gubernatorial candidate in New Jersey.”

    She represents the worst of what is wrong with our government. And you see this as a good trait?

  26. Bruiser says:

    Pumps, I’m wondering how many cops and firemen you are friends with. I am friends with several of each variety, and they all say the same thing…”The job is great, dealing with the public sucks.”

  27. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Lib,

    I wasn’t pointing this out as a positive trait…

    I’m just simply pointing out that she has skills, or she would never get to the position she is at. She lacks morals, but what politician or executive at a corporation has morals? That’s why they all get to the top. They knock out anything that gets in their way. They make their money in a sleazy way, and that’s how the game has been played and will be played. It will never change. People with morals and ethics don’t stand a chance against these people.

  28. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Bruiser,

    Friends with a good amount of cops and a few firemen. Like I said earlier, I usually the first to jump on the bash train. Every time I see a police officer doing traffic work, or radar bs, my blood boils based on how much they are making. Problem is, the job does have major negatives that go with it. I’m always jealous, but I probably would never want the job.

    If we want to save money, maybe they should start hiring cheap cops that act like the secretaries. There is no reason to be paying a cop 6 figures to hand out traffic tickets or write up accident reports. They should only hire high paid cops to do real criminal investigations. So lower the amount of high paid cops, and replace them with a lower paid department that handles all the secretary work of writing up reports and doing traffic work.

  29. Joe says:

    We could also get rid of a lot of county sheriff positions that do nothing more than direct traffic at construction sites.

  30. The Great Pumpkin says:

    This is from the article I posted earlier.

    Joyce, you railed me a few years back for stating that money can’t be hoarded. Maybe you were technically right, it’s always in use, but not always towards productive growth to grow the economy. Dead money indeed.

    “Fixed asset investment averaged 13.5% of GDP in the postwar decades to 1988. But in the past three decades, while governments were obsessed with corporate tax cuts, business investment averaged just 12.6% of GDP. In sum, when we contrast the experience prior to the CIT rate reduction era (1945–1988) with the CIT rate reduction–obsessed era (1988–2012), we see a move from heightened industrial capacity expansion to capacity stagnation.

    Canadian CIT rate reductions not only failed to lead to faster growth, there is evidence to suggest that CIT rate reductions contributed to slower growth. By reducing CIT rates, Canadian governments contributed to the increased income position of large firms. Instead of investing their enlarged earnings into growth-expanding industrial projects, Canada’s corporate sector—especially its largest firms—have increasingly stockpiled cash on their balance sheet. This “dead money,” as former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney called it, is one ingredient in the heightened stagnation of recent times.

    As the leading firms claim a larger share of national income through enhanced size and market power, their capacity to stockpile cash increases. By hoarding cash these firms stabilize dividend payments, thus reducing risk, and this leaves them with more liquidity for acquisition activities and to hedge against market downturn. One consequence of the stockpiling of cash, then, is that a smaller share of national income is deployed to expand employment and industrial capacity.

    As the findings in my forthcoming CCPA paper suggest, corporate tax cuts will go down as one of the great Canadian public policy blunders of the past generation. Far from spawning higher levels of investment and growth, the government fixation with corporate tax cuts has depressed growth, with all the implications that has for jobs in Canada.”

  31. joyce says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzpDsnFG9t8

    Fast Eddie says:
    March 20, 2019 at 9:53 am
    As opposed to MSNBC, who are totally non-bias, right?

  32. Leftwing says:

    No but three wrong turns do make a right…

    Be proud of all your crimes, cause when I screw up once I do it two more times :)

  33. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    FOMC on MEGA-pause. No more rate hikes, QT (Balance sheet runoff) to be shut down by September.

    Get your Utilities, Staples, REITs Shopping list written and buy those dips.

  34. The Great Pumpkin says:

    What a mess.

    This does not look good on her part that she was seeking a 1.5 million payment to end this.

    Like I said from the beginning, Murphy’s rival Democrats tried hard to use this to take him down. That’s what it looks like to me. The media basically painted him as guilty from the start, which is why you know Sweeney was behind this.

    “Brennan had also claimed that Alvarez offered her a $15,000 settlement under the condition that she sign a non-disclosure agreement about what happened that night. While Alvarez did make that offer, his lawyers said it was a counter-offer to a demand by Brennan’s former attorney threatening a lawsuit against Alvarez unless he agreed to pay $1.5 million “as restitution for the significant damages Ms. Brennan has incurred due to Mr. Alvarez’s actions,” according to a January 2018 letter shared with NJ Advance Media.”

    https://www.nj.com/politics/2019/03/ex-murphy-staffer-who-faced-rape-charges-plans-to-sue-accuser-ive-become-a-pariah-he-says.html

  35. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Can we finally admit that taxes don’t matter to the rich? Please, can you realize this? Rich only leave because they want to, not because of taxes. Only poor and middle class leave because of taxes and high cost.

    Think I’m making this up? Then how do you explain this?

    “A Montclair man is planning to build a mega-mansion with 60,000 square feet of living space, including two elevators, his-and-her balconies, and a recreation area with indoor pool, gym, and yoga studio.

    If it’s approved, it would join the ranks of America’s largest mansions, headed by the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, at 175,850 square feet. The Montclair home would squeak into the top 25 as ranked by Wikipedia”

    https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/essex/montclair/2019/03/20/montclair-nj-mansion-proposed-par-these-iconic-mansions/3202893002/

  36. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Pumps shows his lack of critical thinking skills in fewer words than usual.

    Can we finally admit that taxes don’t matter to the rich?

  37. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Expat,

    Why is this guy building a new 60,000 sq ft home in one of the highest taxed towns in nj? Please explain that to me or stfu.

  38. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “Leftist logic:
    If you break the law to get your kids into college the book should be thrown at you

    If you break the law illegally coming to this country your kid should be given free college”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47577506

  39. NINJA says:

    So it’s a problem for facebook to check boxes for race, but every US job application must ask about race, by law. And a google search of anyone will yield their age, thereby sending resumes of older job candidates right into the trash.

    Politicians are know-nothing, do-nothing morons.

  40. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “According to GSMLS here are the facts…
    ✔️Wayne: 156 🏠 on the market, 17 in Attorney review and 88 under contract!
    ✔️Riverdale: 18 🏠 on the market, 2 in attorney review and 12 under contract!
    ✔️Lincoln Park: 36 🏠on the market, 1 in attorney review and 22 under contract!”

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  42. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Just a minor money maker, but I bought 4000 shares of UUP at the close yesterday. Yep. I used dollars to buy dollars.

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