The Trump administration charged Facebook on Thursday with "discrimination" in its advertising practices for housing.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking damages for any person who was harmed by Facebook's advertising policies, which until recently allowed employers and landlords to limit their audiences on the basis of race, ethnicity or gender. Facebook settled a lawsuit with the ACLU over the practice last week and overhauled its systems as a result.
"[Facebook] holds out its advertising platform as a powerful resource for advertisers in many industries, including housing and housing-related services," the complaint says. But, "because of the way [Facebook] designed its advertising platform, ads for housing and housing-related services are shown to large audiences that are severely biased."
HUD is asking for unspecified monetary damages and "the maximum civil penalty" against Facebook for each violation of housing laws.
A Facebook spokesperson said the company is surprised by HUD's charge.