Beatty Slams Facebook CEO, Questions Commitment to Preventing Discriminatory Practices and Violations of Federal Law
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the House Financial Services Committee conducted a hearing to scrutinize Facebook and its previous and future business practices. During the “An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors” hearing, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, pressed Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the company’s efforts to stamp out discrimination in online advertisements.
“I am particularly interested in Facebook’s work around fair housing, asset management, diversity and inclusion, as well as privacy and security,” Beatty said. “This is especially important given the many troubling allegations Facebook has had to respond to and related lawsuits currently being litigated—but even more so because of your testimony here today, Mr. Zuckerberg.” Beatty emphasized, “You want to name names, yet you do not have a lot of definitive answers. I think that is a joke, and it is appalling and disgusting that so many Americans’ lives have been ruined as a result of your discriminatory online advertising practices.”
Several consumer watchdogs, civil rights groups, and government agencies have filed lawsuits over Facebook’s advertising platform for allowing landlords and real estate agencies to intentionally market their ads based on family status, ethnicity, age, gender, and national origin. Critics argue that this is a clear violation of the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition of ‘redlining,’ a practice to exclude prospective homeowners or renters from living in certain locations based on their race.
To watch Beatty’s full exchange with Zuckerberg, please visit YouTube.
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