Facebook is also tightening the language of its ad policy to make clear that advertisers should never discriminate around any of a number of personal attributes, including disability, gender identity and genetic condition.
The belated action comes after reports first emerged in autumn previous year, showing that it was possible for housing advertisers to specifically exclude particular racial minorities in direct contravention of the law.
Facebook's actions today are bold - they not only strengthened their advertising policies, but they are committed to working to educate new advertisers and have put in place robust enforcement rules. Should one run afoul of anti-discrimination guidelines the advertisement will be disapproved.
So no advertiser can argue about lack of knowledge, or ignorance when Facebook censors your ad. Doing so is not right by any standards and in the U.S., it is in violation of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and The Civil Rights Act of 1964.
When an advertiser creates a campaign, Facebook's system will send a warning when the ad is for housing, employment, or credit opportunities and either "includes or excludes" a multicultural advertising segment. "Over the past several months, we've met with policymakers and civil rights leaders to gather feedback about ways to improve our enforcement while preserving the beneficial uses of our advertising tools". "We're glad to see Facebook implementing strong policies so that advertisers of housing, credit, and employment don't use Facebook's ad targeting to exclude certain users", said Rachel Goodman, attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union's Racial Justice Program, in a statement.
Finally, Advertisers will also have to self-certify that their advertisements are in compliance with Facebook's policies, in case they are posting ads for housing, employment and credit and are targeting other audience segments.
With the new tool, Facebook hopes it will be able to more quickly reject discriminatory ads.
Finally, the company said that it will continue working with organizations in both the public and the private sector so as to deploy its advertising technology to promote inclusion and opportunity for under-served communities.