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What to Make of the Facebook ‘Discriminatory’ Housing Advertising Lawsuit

Facebook has recently been sued for allowing users the ability to discriminate against certain groups of people through advertisements on their platform. So what does this mean when it comes to buying or selling your next home? The fact is Facebook is a big platform, and it can be a great way to advertise your home or find homes that are for sale, but home sellers – along with advertising platforms such as Facebook – must follow the Fair Housing Act. The following is an overview of exactly what the Facebook discriminatory housing advertising lawsuit means.


The 1968 Fair Housing Act

The 1968 Fair Housing Act was established to prohibit discrimination from sellers in any manner, making it illegal to determine who rents or purchases the home based on the person’s race, sex, national origin or religion. The law was extended upon in 1988, making discrimination based on disability or family status illegal as well.

The law is in place to promote fair opportunity among all of those who are interested in home buying. As can be seen in the case of Facebook, the law extends beyond those looking to sell a home, and it is important for advertising platforms to ensure their users are not discriminating against others and violating the Fair Housing Act.

Facebook Housing Advertising Discrimination

So what did Facebook do that was in violation of the law? The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – also known as HUD – determined that Facebook gave advertisers the means to determine who could see their ads based on their race, religion and other factors.

Facebook has been working with HUD and other departments to avoid further discrimination and violation of the Fair Housing Act, and Facebook has since removed advertiser’s ability to target their ads based on age, gender and all other factors that are in direct violation of the Fair Housing Act.

What Does The Lawsuit Mean?

Facebook is a great platform for both home buyers and sellers to find great deals on homes, so it is still going to play a large role for real estate agents and homeowners looking to sell and those looking to purchase. However, the lawsuit now means that advertisers are not going to have as much freedom to target their ads how they desire, which means homes are likely to be revealed to a broader audience but may become less frequent as reaching a broader audience is more expensive for advertisers.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that this is a good thing for those looking to buy and sell a home. For those who are selling a home, they can now freely use the Facebook platform without fearing they are in violation of the Fair Housing Act. For home buyers, you can now be shown homes that are right for you, without fearing being discriminated against due to your race, sex or other factors that should not be a consideration for advertisers when selling a home.

EXIT Realty Bob Lamb & Associates is Murfreesboro’s most innovative real estate team.

EXIT Realty Bob Lamb & Associates
2630 Memorial Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37129

(615) 896-5656

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