The U.S. Department of Housing (HUD) has filed an administrative complaint against Facebook alleging that Facebook engages in discriminatory practices to target home buyers. HUD announced the filing of its complaint in a statement of interest in an existing lawsuit brought by housing advocacy groups against Facebook in March of this year. 

At base, the existing lawsuit and HUD’s administrative complaint allege that Facebook allows advertisers, including landlords, to determine which users may see their ads onFacebook, allowing such advertisers to discriminate against users based on gender, national origin, and disability in violation of the Fair Housing Act as well as state law. 

Shortly after HUD made the filing of its administrative complaint public, a Facebook spokesperson indicated that Facebook is working directly with HUD to address HUD’s allegations and noted that Facebook had strengthened its protections against misuse of the platform by advertisers.