US also ‘probing’ Google, Twitter for housing ad bias


The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that has charged Facebook for housing discrimination via its advertising policies, is also probing Google and Twitter’s housing ad policies.

According to The Washington Post, the department officials told Twitter and Google about a probe into their advertising policies and a review is still ongoing.

“They want to make sure that other companies aren’t getting away with something that one company is investigated for,” the report said on Thursday, citing sources.

A Google spokesperson told The Verge: “Our policies are designed to protect users and ensure that advertisers are using our platforms in a responsible manner.”

A Twitter spokesperson said that targeted advertising “is prohibited on Twitter and we enforce our policies rigorously”.

Earlier, the HUD 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.

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

Leave a Reply