Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Department of Housing and Urban Development filed a complaint against Facebook Friday under the Fair Housing Act, charging that the social network allows advertisers to illegally discriminate in housing ads by excluding some groups from seeing them and "invites advertisers to express unlawful preference by suggesting discriminatory options."

Why it matters: Targeted advertising is the heart of Facebook's (and many other online companies') business, but "user choice" viewed through a different lens may look like discriminatory behavior. When it comes to protected groupings based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability, targeting ads can look more like a prejudicial bug than a feature.

What Facebook says, via a spokesperson: "There is no place for discrimination on Facebook; it’s strictly prohibited in our policies. Over the past year we’ve strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse. We're aware of the statement of interest filed and will respond in court; and we’ll continue working directly with HUD to address their concerns."

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Stocks close down more than 3%

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images

Stocks took a hit on Wednesday, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrials Average and Nasdaq dropping more than 3% across the board.

Why it matters: The volatility is a break from the stock market grinding higher in the face of spiking coronavirus cases, a stalling economy and gridlocked negotiations over an additional stimulus package.

Zeta, now a Category 2 Hurricane, closes in on Louisiana coast

The probable path of Zeta, per the National Hurricane Center. Photo: NHC/NOAA

Zeta strengthened on Wednesday afternoon, on track to make landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana by the afternoon as a "significant" Category 2 hurricane, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Zeta is producing 100-mph maximum sustained winds and stronger gusts. The storm is gaining strength as it heads northeastward at 20 mph. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Emergency Declaration in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday.

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