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Social media is now seen as the new frontier of discrimination – perpetuating long-held disparities in this country, especially as it relates to housing. Human rights organizations like the ACLU are now accusing platforms like Meta of perpetuating “digitial redlining” – which basically means using technology as a means to discriminate against users. This can especially occur with the advertisements a platform decides to serve someone, or not – which is based on gender, race, age, and other protected traits under the Civil Rights Act. 

For example, a platform may use someone’s zipcode to determine whether or not to target them with ads for a house on the market, or an apartment for rent. Given that there is still so much housing segregation in this country, a zipcode can largely weed out certain racial groups from these kinds of advertisements. 

In 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice settled a first-of-its-kind case against Meta for algorithmic discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act. According to the settlement, Meta developed a system to address these kinds of disparities. A 2023 U.S. Court of Appeals ruling found Meta can be held liable for discriminating on the basis of race and sex in housing advertisements. Though these cases are wins for civil rights, they do not fully prevent this type of digital discrimination from happening. 

The skilled attorneys at Kennedy Hunt P.C. are experts in civil rights and housing law. If you or someone you know has been a victim of discrimination, our attorneys at Kennedy Hunt, P.C. may be able to help you. Fill out a questionnaire so we can understand your claim.