Facebook is facing another lawsuit, this time from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regarding the sale of Facebook housing advertisements. Bishop Garrison, co-founder and president of the Rainey Center, says that this shows Facebook still has a lot to learn about inclusion.
Regarding the lawsuit, Ben Carson, secretary for HUD, stated that “Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live.” In an op-ed for Protego Press, Garrison explains how Facebook “went as far as to provide ad buyers the ability to decide who could or could not see their ads based on their geographic location as well as specific languages the prospective home buyers might speak.”
Garrison offers two ways that the company can learn about inclusion. First, “Facebook needs to take action to address the inconsistencies of its system.” He encourages the designers and engineers to consider how their tools could be used inappropriately or illegally, and take action to prevent those uses from materializing.
Second, “Facebook needs to implement or improve their policies to see that the engineers who are building these systems reflect that diversity.” He calls for Facebook to ensure that members of the impacted communities are involved in all stages of the business process.
Garrison hopes that “Facebook is serious about preventing discrimination on its platform” and will, therefore, get to the bottom of what causes these acts of discrimination and prevent them from reoccurring in the future.
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