Wednesday July 17, 2019
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US Department Charges Facebook with Housing Ad Bias: Report

These changes were the result of settlement agreements with leading civil rights organisations and ongoing input from civil rights experts, said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Thursday charged Facebook with housing discrimination, saying the social media giant encouraged and caused housing discrimination through ad targeting.

“Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live. Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement.

According to a report in The Verge, the charges were based on a complaint filed in August.

The department accused Facebook of allowing advertisers to exclude certain people from seeing ads, including parents, people born outside the US, non-Christians and those interested in Hispanic culture or accessibility matters.

A Facebook representative was quoted as saying they were surprised by HUD’s decision. “We’ve been working with them to address the concerns and have taken significant steps to prevent ads discrimination,” the spokesperson told The Verge.

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FILE – The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

In a blog post on March 19, Facebook announced new changes where anyone who wants to run such ads will no longer be allowed to target by age, gender or zip code.

These changes were the result of settlement agreements with leading civil rights organisations and ongoing input from civil rights experts, said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Also Read- Food Insecurity In New York, Indian-Americans Work To Raise Awareness

Last year, the US National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and other private parties, filed litigation against Facebook, saying it needs to build stronger protections against abuse.

“Our policies prohibit advertisers from using our tools to discriminate. We’ve removed thousands of categories from targeting related to protected classes such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. But we can do better,” said Sandberg. (IANS)

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India: CSC Partners with Facebook to Provide Digital Skill Training to Women Village Level Entrepreneurs

India has made dramatic strides in expanding access to affordable mobile broadband in the last few years

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Facebook, Digital Skills, Women
In the first year of this project, Facebook, in collaboration with CSC Academy, plans to provide tools and digital skills training to more than 250,000 people across over 3,000 villages in 10 states in India. Pixabay

Common Services Centre (CSC), which serves as access point for the delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, on Tuesday announced a partnership with social media giant Facebook to provide digital skill training to women village level entrepreneurs.

In the first year of this project, Facebook, in collaboration with CSC Academy, plans to provide tools and digital skills training to more than 250,000 people across over 3,000 villages in 10 states in India.

“India has made dramatic strides in expanding access to affordable mobile broadband in the last few years. We are excited to partner with CSC Academy to create a programme that will build on this success as well as the outstanding community networks that CSC has built over the years,” Ajit Mohan, Managing Director, Facebook India, said while speaking at the CSC Diwas celebration here.

As part of the project CSC will identify and nominate 5,000 women village level entrepreneurs across 10 states – Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Telangana, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Facebook, Digital Skills, Women
Common Services Centre (CSC), which serves as access point for the delivery of various electronic services to villages in India. Pixabay

These women entrepreneurs will be given training sessions on leveraging various Facebook tools to not just build and grow their business but also on how to train people on the ground.

These entrepreneurs will further help build awareness to ensure that the community is able to learn from each other.

CSC along with Facebook will co-create a curriculum (online and offline) around digital marketing skills and online safety in over 14 regional languages.

“CSC has unleashed entrepreneurs across villages in India, many of them women. With the #DigitalBeti programme, our objective is to arm these village level entrepreneurs with similar digital tool kits that large corporations have access to, and unleash their full potential and their ability to create economic opportunities for themselves and their communities,” Mohan said.

Also Read- Facebook Preparing Launch of Serious Competitor to Short Video-Sharing App TikTok

From just 13,000 women village level entrepreneurs in 2014, today more than 73,000 women entrepreneurs are working across 3.66 lakh CSC centres, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. (IANS)