Following a settlement and comprehensive civil rights audit, Facebook has made new changes that affect how Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals can target potential clients
This week, the Housing Rights Initiative, a non-profit organization, and a Washington D.C. woman filed “human rights complaints” against seven housing companies who placed ads on Facebook claiming they discriminated against older people.
This new complaint comes on the heels of a settlement Facebook reached in March of this year with the National Fair Housing Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Communication Workers of America and other organizations.
This change is an intentional effort to protect against discrimination to align with the Federal Housing laws.
These are the changes that real estate and mortgage companies placing ads on Facebook are now required to adhere to. These changes are intended to eliminate audience targeting that discriminates.
When a company (the advertiser) creates a new campaign, they MUST check a box that says, “I’m creating a campaign for ads in a Special Ad Category.”
The advertiser must go on to select a button that says, “Housing- Ads for real estate listings, homeowners insurance, mortgage loans, and other related opportunities.”
Advertisers are no longer able to target by age, gender or, zip code.
If an advertiser selects a zip code, the ad automatically will include the zip code, plus everyone in a 15-mile radius of the zip code chosen.
A tool is being created that allows you to search and view any US housing ads by an advertiser, regardless of whether the ads are shown to you.
Facebook also eliminated many of the targeting categories it felt could be construed as being discriminatory and in violation of the Fair Housing rules.
These changes will still allow advertisers to take advantage of Facebook’s agile and extraordinary advertising platform and see positive returns with their advertising dollars.
With this week’s complaint, we are seeing that the Plaintiffs may have found discrepancies in Facebook’s advertising algorithm. The algorithm might need to be adjusted to make sure Facebook stays within the parameters of its own new rules.
However, it appears Facebook is making every effort to assure that advertisers are not discriminating. This effort is reinforced by Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg’s statement about the updates;
“Housing, employment, and credit ads are crucial to helping people buy new homes, start great careers, and gain access to credit. They should never be used to exclude or harm people. Getting this right is deeply important to me and all of us at Facebook because inclusivity is a core value for our company.”
Whether the outcome of this week’s new complaint is in favor of or against Facebook, South County Mortgage Corp. is committed to serving all residents and future residents of the great state of Rhode Island, regardless of Race, Color, Religion, Sex, Handicap, Familial Status, National Origin, Military Status, Disability, or Ancestry.
To view Facebook’s new policy for advertisers in the Housing/Real Estate industry, you can go directly to this Facebook link;
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South County Mortgage is a licensed mortgage brokerage providing better than bank service and better than bank rates to Rhode Island residents for over 20 years. Visit our website for more info, www.scmtg.net.