Today, Facebook settled several lawsuits with civil rights organizations and labor groups – including the ACLU and National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) – that alleged Facebook allowed discriminatory practices in housing, employment, and credit advertising. As part of the settlements, Facebook agreed to implement sweeping changes to its ad platforms to ensure users can no longer be discriminated against based on race, national origin, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, family status, or any other characteristic protected by federal law.
Lisa Cylar Barrett, Policy Director at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), released the following statement:
“For years, Facebook allowed our nation’s sordid history of discrimination in housing, employment, and credit advertising to expand onto social media, but that stops now. The changes required by these settlements will help protect millions of Facebook users from illegally being filtered out of receiving economic opportunities based on their immutable traits. This settlement is a vital first step towards social media platforms recognizing their responsibility to ensure that their practices and the messages advanced on their sites are free of bias. An in-depth conversation is warranted to prevent the discrimination, racial bigotry, and violence so familiar in our communities from finding a new home in technology and social media. We appreciate the leadership of our friends and partners at NFHA, and the tenacious efforts of all involved in advancing this effort. The work continues.”
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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.