Summary of How the Internet Keeps Poor People in Poor Neighborhoods

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

How the Internet Keeps Poor People in Poor Neighborhoods summary


8 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


Housing discrimination has divided the United States: White families still predominantly live in middle-class neighborhoods while black Americans are more likely to reside in lower-class areas. Discriminatory housing practices are technically illegal, but the algorithms that underlie targeted online ads continue to reinforce segregation.Using – partially interactive – cartoons for illustration, graphics reporter Alvin Chang explains how targeted ads become racist. getAbstract recommends this analysis to tech-based marketers, online advertising managers and everyone interested in civil rights.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How online ads undermine fair housing laws,
  • How users’ online preferences influence which ads they see, and
  • Why Google and Facebook must begin self-testing for discriminatory ads.

About the Author

Alvin Chang is a graphics reporter for Vox Media.



Housing discrimination isn’t new. Past racist housing policies placed white families in middle-class neighborhoods and black families in lower-class areas. Although the Fair Housing Act made the practice illegal and courts have been holding newspapers liable for discriminatory ads, online ads pose a...

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category