Facebook allows finance companies to target users by age

Occurred: April 2021

Four US credit card and financial loan companies excluded certain age groups from their advertising campaigns on Facebook, potentially violating US law. 

According to The Markup, the exclusions by Aspiration, Chime, Hometap, and Varo, violate Facebook's anti-discrimination policies and in some cases potentially transgress US federal or state civil rights laws. 

The findings appeared to contradict a claim by Facebook vice president Monica Bickert in an appearance before a Senate Judiciary hearing on social media in April 2021 that Facebook did not allow the use of sensitive targeting criteria when placing financial services and housing ads.

US senator Mazie Hirono used The Markup's article to accuse Bickert of making a claim that 'appears to be false'.

The incident raised questions about how consistently implementation of Facebook's anti-discrimination policy was implemented and enforced, allowing some companies to target ads based on age, resulting in potential discrimination and the violation of civil rights law.

Operator: Meta/Facebook
Developer: Meta/Facebook
Country: USA
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Target audiences
Technology: Advertising management system
Issue: Bias/discrimination - age
Transparency: Governance