Tuesday February 18, 2020
Home Lead Story Charge on Fac...

Charge on Facebook for Discriminating People on the Basis of their Identity

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Thursday

0
//
facebook
The total number of vanished posts could be significantly higher, as the very nature of the issue makes it extremely difficult to make a full accounting of what exactly has gone missing over the years. VOA

Facebook was charged with discrimination by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development because of its ad-targeting system.

HUD said Thursday Facebook is allowing advertisers to exclude people based on their neighborhood by drawing a red line around those neighborhoods on a map and giving advertisers the option of showing ads only to men or only to women.

The agency also claims Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude people that the social media company classified as parents; non-American-born; non-Christian; interested in accessibility; interested in Hispanic culture or a wide variety of other interests that closely align with the Fair Housing Act’s protected classes.

HUD, which is pursuing civil charges and potential monetary awards that could run into the millions, said Facebook’s ad platform is “encouraging, enabling, and causing housing discrimination” because it allows advertisers to exclude people who they don’t want to see their ads.

facebook
The claim from HUD comes less than a week after Facebook said it would overhaul its ad-targeting systems to prevent discrimination in housing. Wikimedia

The claim from HUD comes less than a week after Facebook said it would overhaul its ad-targeting systems to prevent discrimination in housing , credit and employment ads as part of a legal settlement with a group that includes the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Fair Housing Alliance and others.

The technology at the heart of the clashes is what has helped turned Facebook into a goliath with annual revenue of close to $56 billion.

It can offer advertisers and groups the ability to direct messages with precision to exactly the crowd that they want to see it. The potential is as breathtaking as it is potentially destructive.

Facebook has taken fire for allowing groups to target groups of people identified as “Jew-haters” and Nazi sympathizers. There remains the fallout from the 2016 election, when, among other things, Facebook allowed fake Russian accounts to buy ads targeting U.S. users to enflame political divisions.

facebook
The technology at the heart of the clashes is what has helped turned Facebook into a goliath with annual revenue of close to $56 billion. Pixabay

The company is wrestling with several government investigations in the U.S. and Europe over its data and privacy practices. A shakeup this month that ended with the departure of some of Facebook’s highest ranking executives raised questions about the company’s direction.

The departures came shortly after CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out a new “privacy-focused” vision for social networking. He has promised to transform Facebook from a company known for devouring the personal information shared by its users to one that gives people more ways to communicate in truly private fashion, with their intimate thoughts and pictures shielded by encryption in ways that Facebook itself can’t read.

ALSO READ: Facebook Bans White Nationalism, Separatism

However, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said Thursday there is little difference between the potential for discrimination in Facebook’s technology, and discrimination that has taken place for years.

“Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” Carson said. “Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face.” Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Thursday. (VOA)

Next Story

Coronavirus Derails Significant Tech Summit in Silicon Valley

After Facebook, coronavirus derails Intel event in US

0
Coronavirus Intel
Coronavirus has derailed another significant tech summit in the Silicon Valley, this time from global chip-maker Intel which on Monday decided to postpone its "Intel Labs Day' conference that was scheduled from March 12-13 here. Pixabay

After Facebook, Coronavirus has derailed another significant tech summit in the Silicon Valley, this time from global chip-maker Intel which on Monday decided to postpone its “Intel Labs Day’ conference that was scheduled from March 12-13 here.

The company said in a statement that the briefing sessions would not be organised as scheduled “due to the COVID-19 impact on the ecosystem”. “We are revisiting launch plans,” said the company.

Facebook last week cancelled ‘Global Marketing Summit’ in San Francisco that was scheduled from March 9-12. Over 5,000 participants were expected to attend the event.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we cancelled our Global Marketing Summit due to evolving public health risks related to coronavirus,” said a company spokesperson. IBM said it cancelled its participation in the RSA cybersecurity conference here from February 24-28 due to concerns over China virus outbreak.

Coronavirus Intel
The company said in a statement that the briefing sessions would not be organised as scheduled “due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 impact on the ecosystem”. Pixabay

“The health of IBMers is our primary concern as we continue to monitor upcoming events and travel relative to COVID-19”, the company tweeted.

San Francisco International Airport is among 11 locations through which all flights from China to the US are being funneled for coronavirus screening.

Last week, United Airlines Flight 901 from San Francisco was placed under lockdown after landing at London’s Heathrow Airport on Friday as the captain told passengers someone on board might have Novel Coronavirus. Other passengers were eventually allowed to disembark but the sick person was kept behind, reports The Daily Mail.

Also Read- Samsung to Launch its Galaxy M31 Smartphone in India

China’s National Health Commission on Monday reported 70,548 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,770 deaths, with 10,844 people discharged from hospital. In the 24 hours until midnight on Sunday, 2,048 new cases and 105 new deaths had been recorded over the previous day. (IANS)