Marketers will no longer be able to exclude characteristics like gender or race.
Facebook has reached a settlement following accusations by multiple civil rights groups that accused the company of “allowing advertisers to unlawfully discriminate against minorities, women, and older people by using the platform’s ad-targeting technology to exclude them from seeing ads for housing, jobs, and credit—three areas with legal protections for groups that have historically been disenfranchised,” according to an article on Wired.
As a condition of the settlement, Facebook will change the functionality of its advertising platform so that marketers can no longer “target, or exclude, based on characteristics like gender or race,” the article said.
According to the article, this settlement “is a big deal because Facebook’s immense revenue primarily comes from ads, which are so successful because of their micro-targeting capabilities. But when a company or advertiser shows an ad only to certain people—say, people under the age of 55, as Facebook allegedly did when it placed ads on its own site for jobs at Facebook—that excludes a protected class of workers. And that’s illegal under federal law.”
Franchisors and franchise development teams historically rely on targeted Facebook ads for everything from generating leads to constructing customer profiles, so changes to the functionality will undoubtedly usher in changes in strategy.
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