Ad Promoting Free-Speech Post Squelched

Screen grab from Facebook ad administration page

Thanks to the financial support of our generous readers, Bacon’s Rebellion has begun promoting popular posts on Facebook with the goal of driving traffic to the website. Faceless Facebook minions review each ad before it can be published. Not surprisingly, any text with “COVID” appears to be automatically rejected, even when we’re not opining on the efficacy of official state and federal guidelines. More surprising was the recent rejection of an ad promoting a recent post, When “Words Are Violence,” Only One Side Gets to Speak, about free speech and expression at the University of Virginia.

At the risk of provoking Facebook, our most promising marketing vehicle, I am posting an image of the rejection notice, which appeared with no explanation. I feel fortunate that Facebook has not nixed any of posts on the Bacon’s Rebellion Facebook page — only the ads. I’m hoping that doesn’t change. We’ll see. The situation is fluid.

Here follows the text of the Facebook policy we violated:

Full Policy
9.a Ads About Social Issues, Elections or Politics

Advertisers can run ads about social issues, elections or politics, provided the advertiser complies with all applicable laws and the authorization process required by Facebook. Where appropriate, Facebook may restrict issue, electoral or political ads. In addition, certain content related to elections may be prohibited in specific regions ahead of voting; click here for more.

Any advertiser running ads about social issues, elections or politics who is located in or targeting people in designated countries must complete the authorization process required by Facebook, except for news publishers identified by Facebook. This applies to any ad that:

Is made by, on behalf of or about a candidate for public office, a political figure, a political party, a political action committee or advocates for the outcome of an election to public office; or

Is about any election, referendum or ballot initiative, including “get out the vote” or election information campaigns; or

Is about any social issue in any place where the ad is being run; or

Is regulated as political advertising.
Advertisers running these ads, regardless of location, targeting or news exemptions, must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including but not limited to requirements involving:

Disclaimer, disclosure and ad labeling;

Blackout periods;

Foreign interference; or

Spending limits and reporting requirements.

Running issue, electoral or political ads without authorization, providing false or misleading information in the authorization process, and other ad policy violations may lead to enforcement action against your Profile, associated Pages, and/or ad accounts. Enforcement actions may include:

Disabling associated Pages

Disabling existing ads

Restricting the ability to run new ads

Restricting the ability to merge Pages; and

Revoking authorization to run issue, electoral or political ads
Ads must not run in or be targeted at the state of Washington when the ads relate to Washington’s state or local elected officials, candidates, elections or ballot initiatives. In addition, ads must not run in or be targeted at the state of Washington when the ads relate to Seattle legislation.