In a challenge to housing discrimination with national implications, the Firm challenged Facebook’s policy of creating pre-populated lists for housing advertisers to “exclude” (in Facebook terminology) Facebook users from receiving rental, sales, or financing ads because of their race, national origin, sex, disability or family status. The Firm represented a diverse array of housing clients: the National Fair Housing Alliance, the Fair Housing Justice Center, Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence, Inc., and the Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio.
Facebook ultimately agreed to a settlement of $2.45 million and far-reaching changes across Facebook’s advertising platform for housing, employment, and credit advertising.
“In addition to being a historic settlement of five separate lawsuits that will change practices on Facebook and other platforms, it’s also notable that we agreed to continue to study the algorithmic effect of ads with Facebook,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the A.C.L.U.
The New York Times
Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said Tuesday that he hopes Facebook’s “first of its kind” settlement will be a “pace-setter for other platforms going forward.”
The Washington Post
NFHA Press Releasenationalfairhousing,org
Facebook Halts Ad Targeting Cited in Bias ComplaintsNew York Times
Facebook Agrees To Overhaul Targeted Advertising System For Job, Housing And Loan Ads After Discrimination ComplaintsThe Washington Post
Facebook Axes Age, Gender and Other Targeting for Some Sensitive AdsWall Street Journal
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Hagerman v. Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
The firm recovered more than $40 million as part of historic $2.7 billion settlement with the government of Libya for the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. This litigation created the terrorist exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA).