Facebook Advertisers Can Now Exclude Users by Race

Facebook’s new self-service advertising portal allows advertisers to exclude users based on their race, ProPublica reported Friday. In the “Detailed Targeting” section of the portal, advertisers can now choose to “include” or “exclude” users based on behaviors or demographics, including “ethnic affinity.” Purchased ads, as a result, can exclude users with an “affinity” for African-American, Asian-American, or Hispanic people, effectively allowing the creation of ads that could be seen only by white viewers. While Facebook claims its policies “prohibit advertisers from using the targeting options for discrimination, harassment, disparagement, or predatory advertising practices,” its new product is under fire for seeming to do just that.