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Facebook removes ability for advertisers to use race to target ads

FILE - In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. Responding to criticism, Facebook says it will no longer allow advertisers to use ethnicity as a filter when it comes to targeting or hiding ads offering housing, employment or credit. The changes come after a report by ProPublica found that Facebookâs system lets advertisers exclude black, Hispanic or other so-called 'ethnic affinitiesâ from seeing their ads. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

FILE - In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. Responding to criticism, Facebook says it will no longer allow advertisers to use ethnicity as a filter when it comes to targeting or hiding ads offering housing, employment or credit. The changes come after a report by ProPublica found that Facebook√Ęs system lets advertisers exclude black, Hispanic or other so-called 'ethnic affinities√Ę from seeing their ads. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)  (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

Facebook says it will no longer allow advertisers to use ethnicity as a filter when it comes to targeting or hiding ads offering housing, employment or credit.

The changes come after ProPublica reported that , besides hobbies and interests, advertisers could exclude specific races from seeing their ads. This could be illegal in some circumstances, such as with housing ads.

Although Facebook doesn't actually ask users their race, the service can make a pretty good guess based on other information users share.

On Friday, Facebook said discriminatory ads have "no place" on the site. Rather, it says the filters are designed for reaching "multicultural audiences with more relevant advertising." Race and ethnicity filters will still be allowed for ads that aren't about housing, employment or credit.

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