Facebook Faces Civil Rights Lawsuit: Users Suing Over Housing, Employment Discrimination
Facebook just became a defendant in a case filed by three of its users who claim that the world’s largest social media network pursues a number of racially discriminatory policies.
In what could turn out to be a class-action lawsuit, Suzanne-Juliette Mobley, Karen Savage and Victor Onuoha, alleged that Facebook violated the U.S. Fair Housing Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status and national origin. The case was filed before the District Court of the Northern District of California.
Discrimination In Facebook Ads
The complaint stemmed from the company’s ad platform, which is said to publish discriminatory advertisements due to its capacity to target and exclude specific ethnic groups. This points to the advertising process wherein an ad buyer is presented with a list of peoples classified according to their ethnic affinity such as African Americans, Asian Americans and immigrants. The lawsuit alleges that it discriminates against those who are looking for housing and employment.
Once a group or groups of particular “affinity” has been selected, the ad buyer clicks a button that reads “Exclude People.” The resulting ad propagated within the social network will no longer show in the timelines of users who matched the characteristics of the excluded grouping.
Claims Of Exclusion
The complainants have detailed unique experiences about Facebook’s advertisements. Savage, for example, who is a student and divorced mother of four, has used Facebook advertisements to look for an apartment. Based on the lawsuit’s claim, she must have been unfairly disadvantaged during the process, as Facebook also included the “divorced,” “parents” and “expectant parents” in the exclusion options.
The ad platform could also entail LGBT discrimination as sex is included in the “Exclude People” options. Facebook has already faced a discrimination lawsuit based on gender last year.
‘Black-only’ housing sparking more racism at colleges
Cal State Los Angeles establishes ethnic themed living-learning community in what the black student union calls a ‘safe space’ from racism, critics say it’s ‘black-only’ housing segregation
Buffalo, NY, United States. An absentee landlord and rental property manager are liable for $51,840 in damages and attorney fees linked to a housing discrimination case that occurred in December 2007, according to a Buffalo-based non-profit fair-housing agency.
According to Buffalo News, the State Supreme Court Justice Patrick H. NeMoyer, who issued the judgment recently, in October 2013 upheld the City of Buffalo’s fair housing law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of legal income, as well as the independent standing of fair-housing organizations bringing claims under the law.
Housing discrimination case since 2007
In December 2007, student Naima Stewart was denied the opportunity to rent one of several Huntington Avenue apartments, owned by California landlord Donald Peterson and listed with University Property Management, because she was low-income with a Section 8 housing voucher, according to Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), which handled the case.
A HOME investigator without the voucher was given tours of two apartments but one identifying herself as a Section 8 participant was denied, and told that the owner no longer accepted recipients of housing assistance as tenants, according to HOME.