Facebook to prohibit discriminatory ads on its platform


(Reuters) – Facebook Inc will make changes to its advertising platform to stop third-party advertisers in the United States from excluding protected groups from seeing their ads, the Washington State Attorney General said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Facebook logo is seen at a start-up companies gathering at Paris’ Station F in Paris, France on January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD

The legally binding agreement with Washington State requires Facebook to make these changes within 90 days and its impact will be nationwide, the state’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, said in a statement.

“Facebook’s advertising platform allowed unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, sexual orientation, disability and religion,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said.

The action concludes a 20-month investigation by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office that began after nonprofit ProPublica published an article on Facebook’s advertisement targeting, Ferguson said.

Facebook confirmed the agreement with the state.

“Discriminatory advertising has no place on our platform, and we’ll continue to improve our ad products so they’re relevant, effective, and safe for everyone,” said Will Castleberry, Facebook’s vice president of state and local policy.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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