As a social media markerter, I am definitely aware that Facebook is trying to get its users to pump in money in order to increase the reach of any post. Gone were the days when your content would be immediately viewed by thousands of your fans. As Facebook is still the reigning social media platform in Malaysia, I often suggest promoting our posts. What other better options do we have if we want to reach out to more people?
Here is a recent post for The LifeStyle Clinic that I thought was worth promoting. Take a look and you would agree that the following picture should not be a problem, right?
I was wrong. Shortly after placing my order to have this post reviewed, guess what? Facebook DISAPPROVED IT with an automated message saying,
Your ad content violates Facebook Ad Guidelines. Ads are not allowed to promote the sale or use of adult products or services, including toys, videos, publications, live shows or sexual enhancement products. Ads for family planning and contraception are allowed if they follow our targeting requirements.
I could not believe what I just read. Which part of the post promoted the sale or use of ADULT products or services???
Since this response was most likely generated by some kind of automated script, I appealed, explaining what the Fractional CO2 laser does. To put it simply, the Fractional CO2 laser is a popular aesthetic tool used to “erase” acne scars, I simply cannot imagine using it as a sexual enhancement tool!
I received another response, this time from a Facebook employee called Ashley :
Thanks for writing in.
Your ad was rejected because it doesn’t follow our advertising guidelines. Ads may not promote the sale or use of adult products or services (ex: sexual enhancement products, seduction techniques, adult clubs and shows).
Learn more about acceptable adult products for advertising:
This decision is final and we may not respond to additional inquiries about this ad.
Hold on a second! Do not thank me after putting me in a massive confusion. I really need to know what was wrong with my post so I can avoid repeating the mistake in my future content. Do not also tell me this decision is final… yada yada yada. I don’t care if you do not respond to additional inquiry. I WILL APPEAL AGAIN!
This time, I included many links about the Fractional CO2 treatment, in case our dear Facebook censor still don’t understand what it really does.
Finally… *drum roll*… It was still not approved. However, I finally know why it was rejected, because Ashley finally explained the reason behind the disapproval.
Thanks for writing in , this is Ashley and I am here to help you with your concern.
Your ad was rejected because the image violates the Ad Guidelines. Ads may not use images that are shocking or scary.
Prohibited images include:
- Surgical procedures on skin/Needles being injected in the skin/lips
- A gun being pointed towards the user
- Disfigured body parts / internal organ images
- Some one symbolizing profane words (f*ck)
- Excessive blood / injuries
- Animal abuse / cruelty
- Violence in any context
- Car crashes
- Dead or dismembered bodies
- Ghosts, zombies, ghouls and vampires
You may use a different image that positively connects with people and recreate your post.
First, Facebook blocked it because you claimed it had adult content, a claim which Facebook reinforced when it was resubmitted. Now, Facebook blocked the post because we were showing a surgical procedure. There was just no #winning this argument, which is why I decided not to pay to promote the post.
Here at The LifeStyle Clinic, we like to show actual images of our doctors and patients because they depict reality – what you can expect if you come over for our treatments. We could use stock photos, but that wouldn’t be telling the truth, would it?
Thanks a lot, Facebook.
While Facebook may prohibit a lot of things in their advertisements, they seem to have no issue if you just post them as ordinary posts. They only have an issue if you want to promote those posts.
That’s why Facebook is replete with pictures of disfigured babies like Baby Isabel and Baby Dominic Pio as well as gore like this girl who committed suicide, and this girl who was killed by a power bank.
The moral of the story? If you want to post anything remotely controversial, Facebook allows you to do so. They just don’t want you to pay them to promote it.