Federal regulators have served Facebook with a complaint alleging the company’s advertising tools allow landlords and real estate brokers to engage in housing discrimination.
Justice Department lawyers disclosed the complaint by the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Friday in a court filing made in a lawsuit brought against Facebook by advocacy groups last spring.
The lawsuit says Facebook’s systems allow people placing real estate ads to exclude certain audiences from seeing them, like families with young children or disabled people.
In its filing Friday, the Justice Department took the side of the advocates, saying the company was enabling advertisers to violate housing laws.
It said HUD served its administrative complaint Tuesday.
A Facebook spokesman says the company doesn’t allow discrimination and has strengthened its systems to prevent misuse.