Facebook has taken steps to prevent discrimination via its ad targeting system by removing over 5,000 filter options linked to attributes such as ethnicity and religion in a bid to prevent the service from being abused.
The social network was forced to act following an investigation by the US department of housing and urban development which found that some landlords and vendors were violating the principles of the Fair Housing Act by limiting advertising to particular demographics.
In a blog post explaining the cull Facebook wrote: “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.”
In tandem with these moves Facebook has also rolled out a new certification for US advertisers which requires all advertisers to first register their compliance with Facebook’s non-discrimination policy if posting content related to housing, employment or credit.
Facebook has also been forced to concede that the scale of misinformation campaigns carried out on its platform are far larger than previously believed, after it identified 652 accounts, groups and pages connected to Russia and Iran which it found had engaged in ‘coordinated inauthentic behaviour’.
Facebook's move to eliminate discriminatory advertising comes just 30 days after it vowed to end the practice.