Are Facebook’s advertising options discriminatory?

(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

(WISH) – Experts are predicting record online sales for Thanksgiving weekend, and are Facebook’s advertising options discriminatory?

Facebook knows almost everything about you and uses that to show ads designed to appeal to your interests. That’s nothing new, but a recent report surfaced that these targeted ads can potentially be used illegally.

Facebook has an ad customization option called “ethnic affinities” which lets advertisers target specific groups or exclude them.

Pro Publica found that the tool can be used to discriminate against users with housing-related ads, which is forbidden under the Fair Housing Act. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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