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Rep. Robin Kelly Leads Letter Objecting to Facebook’s “Ethnic Affinity” Feature

Nov 1, 2016
Press Release

Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Congressional Black Caucus today voiced their objections to Facebook’s “Ethnic Affinity” advertising option that allows housing advertisers to exclude certain ethnic groups in marketing and promotion, in a letter to company CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

In the letter spearheaded by Kelly, legislators argued that Facebook’s policy is in "direct violation of the Fair Housing Act of 1968," since it can limit the audience that sees such ads based on race.

"By allowing online advertisers to promote or market a community or home for the purpose of sale to select an 'ethnic affinity' as part of their advertising campaign, Facebook is complicit in promoting restrictive housing practices," wrote Kelly, Congressional Black Caucus Chair G.K. Butterfield, Representative Emanuel Cleaver – who sits on the Financial Service Committee’s Housing and Insurance Subcommittee – and Representative Yvette Clarke of the Energy & Commerce Committee. 

Kelly is the Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee’s Information Technology Subcommittee and a Co-Chair of the House Diversifying Technology Caucus.

The full letter is avaliable here.

Robin Kelly



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