The Real Deal New York

Here’s what Zuckerberg had to say about alleged housing ad discrimination

Facebook founder suggests AI can solve the issue
April 11, 2018 09:00AM

Mark Zuckerberg (Credit: Getty Images)

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled over alleged housing ad discrimination on the company’s social network during his Senate testimony Tuesday, and suggested the problem could be solved through artificial intelligence.

“We’ve removed the ability to exclude ethnic groups and other sensitive categories from ad targeting,” he said, according to Inman. “That just isn’t a feature that’s even available anymore.”

Zuckerberg acknowledged the system isn’t foolproof. “We’ll make some mistakes, but we try to make as few as possible,” he said. “Over time, the strategy would be to develop more AI tools that can more proactively identify that kind of content and do that filtering up front.”

The National Fair Housing Alliance and other groups recently filed a lawsuit against Facebook, alleging that the company allows housing advertisers to discriminate against women and families with children.

Zuckerberg seemed open to Senator Cory Booker’s suggestion to allow civil rights groups to help police housing advertisers on the social network. “Senator, I think that’s a very good idea, and I think we should follow up on the details of that,” he said. [Inman]Konrad Putzier