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Facebook Signs Agreement With Washington State To End Discriminatory Ad Targeting

Last month, Washington filed a lawsuit against Facebook (and Google) for failing to disclose political ad spending, as required by state law. Washington law requires that “political campaign and lobbying contributions and expenditures be fully disclosed to the public and that secrecy is to be avoided.” Today, as reported by Reuters, Facebook has signed an agreement with the state to stop third-party advertisers in the U.S. from excluding protected groups from seeing their ads. From the report: Facebook confirmed the agreement with the state, and said the announcement is part of a long process to ensure that tools used to target ads on the social network are safe, civil, and fair. “We’ve removed thousands of categories related to potentially sensitive personal attributes — like race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion — from our exclusion targeting tools,” the company said, pointing to its efforts from over a year-and-a-half. The legally binding agreement with Washington state requires Facebook to make the changes to its ad platform within 90 days, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said.


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