Rejected by Facebook

Bacon’s Rebellion

has been using reader donations to promote readership of the blog and The Blunderbuss newsletter on Facebook. The ad in question did not mention COVID, stolen elections or other verboten topics. To see the ad and the reason for the rejection, keep reading…

The ad:

The explanation:

Your ad may have been rejected because it mentions politicians or is about sensitive social issues that could influence public opinion, how people vote and may impact the outcome of an election or pending legislation. Our policy for running ads about social issue, electoral or politics requires you to get authorized first by confirming your identity and creating a disclaimer that lists who is paying for the ads.

No, the ad doesn’t mention elections, social issues, or politics. Bacon’s Rebellion does, but the ad does not.

I’d feel a whole lot better if I knew liberal/leftist blogs were getting the same treatment. If you know one whose ads have been rejected by Facebook, please let me know so I can dispel the suspicion that conservative outlets are being singled out for this treatment.

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30 responses to “Rejected by Facebook”

  1. Publius Avatar

    This is a bit ridiculous. The doubters of censorship sound like Politifact…
    “Well Biden didn’t really withhold the Ukrainian money to get the prosecutor who wanted to look at Burisma fired. What he really meant was the US had grave concerns that the Ukrainian prosecutor was corrupt and he was fulfilling US policy to get him fired, not protect his son. We rate the claim Four Pinocchios.” Hey, what are you doing? Stop looking at that laptop!

    Despite the best fear-mongering from the Mendacious Midget, at some point “anecdotal” evidence becomes too great to ignore.

  2. Nicholas Piasecki Avatar
    Nicholas Piasecki

    As a small business owner in Richmond who has had to interact with Google, Amazon Seller Central, and Facebook over the years, and who is pretty left but reality of City Hall pulls him sometimes to the right, I think I’ve decided that my problem with these organizations is that they arrogantly rely on algorithms to do human work and are otherwise impossible to contact to resolve an issue.

    I don’t even think it’s mostly intentionally malicious, it is that their business model has not accounted for the possibility of support at all and they think they can automate their way out of it. I think antitrust could be avoided by a bipartisan bill that mandates “support your product with human support” (jobs!) and “require a clearly defined appeals process for negative decisions” (admit you’re wrong!) would go a long way to addressing the problems that people face with Big Tech.

    Otherwise, they are answerable to no one, left or right. And that’s when people get really mad.

    While I think a business should be mostly free to do what it wants at some point you are big enough that maybe you need to play nice on some issues and can suffer a little bit of rules.

    (I don’t agree with a lot of the articles in your blog but I find your arguments well reasoned and researched and I have a lot of respect for that. Thank you.)

    1. John Harvie Avatar
      John Harvie

      The bot didn’t like to word “revolution”?

      1. That’s what I was thinking. “Conservative” close to the word “revolution” is what tripped the wire. If you had thrown in “Patriot” somewhere, then who knows what would have happened.

    2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      Silly, naive me! I assumed that there were humans involved!

      1. Nicholas Piasecki Avatar
        Nicholas Piasecki

        It’s counterintuitive, but I’ve found the more employees that work for a given company, the less likely the first two to three replies will have originated from a human

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          well, humans write the algorithms per what the companies direct and they do so to save labor costs which can be significant and the job itself is often to answer the same questions over and over to each new call.

          So, why not a bot for the same questions asked over and over?

          I get just as frustrated, like when the cable goes out – they do give you a human but they’re reading from a script. “Turn off your box for 30 seconds, then turn it back on. If that don’t work , check your connections, if that don’t work we can get a tech to you next Thursday”


          1. Brian Leeper Avatar
            Brian Leeper

            My way of short-circuiting that BS is to tell them that there is NO signal on the cable and to run a node report to see if the other cablemodems in the area are working.

            Back when they still had analog cable I would just tell them that I have snow on all channels.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Right. Been there, done that also! 😉 They’ve gotten better at it. Now I can check to see if there is an “outage” and I watch the subdivision road like a hawk if we lose signal! I get nervous whenever I see contractors digging or even a cable company truck, they fix someone, and I’m then down!

            And, I no longer “dig” without calling 811 – done some dumb digs…

            But the issue of “support” is a big one for most companies. It’s a money pit and generates zero profit.

            And people want cheap, but they don’t understand that cheap is bare-bones.

            One better approach to this might be to offer “premium” support – yes, you pay extra for in-person support, like you might for an additional warranty.

            It all costs money and someone will have to pay for it, and most companies are not going to make themselves less competitive to their competitors.

            Bottom Line – you get what you pay for and “freebies” are fewer and fewer in the 21st century economy.

    3. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Bingo on the algorithms. Thomas Jefferson Institute has had some fun with that, too, and one is never clear what triggered a rejection. The person who manages and boosts posts for us seems to have broken the code.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Sometimes you just need to be polite…

  3. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    I understand your sensitivity to the possibility that conservative sites are being singled out. Because I do not use Facebook, I cannot say if there are any ads from “liberal” sites. However, on the face of it, it looks like Facebook is taking the criticism of it seriously and is trying to ensure that Bacon’s Rebellion is not a Russian bot.

    If you “get authorized first by confirming your identity and creating a disclaimer that lists who is paying for the ads,” and still get rejected, then there is a problem.

    Maybe you should re-submit the ad after substituting “nonpartisan” for “conservative”. After all, there are some perspectives other than conservative reflected on the blog! That wording might appeal to a larger audience.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      predisposed to that.
      See: IRS, Lois Lerner

    2. LarrytheG Avatar

      But it’s also not like Conservatives can’t get their word out anyhow They complain mightily about the “MSM media” but truth is between FAUX News, and a slew of print and web media and talk radio – they have no trouble getting their message.out. You can Google a phrase like Critical Race Theory or Hunter Biden and you’ll be inundated with Conservative media sites – out the wazoo!

      And there are competitors to FB and Twitter than are much more tolerant and welcoming to Conservatives.

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    Okay, you asked for it. An Episcopal Church in Spotsylvania was booted off of Facebook and despite their efforts to find out why, they were unsuccessful and the ban stood and still does! Some implications that some content went “over the line” but no specifics provided.

    Social media is a private sector service and there is competition. If they do not please the majority of their customers , the customers will go somewhere else. Let the market work. You can’t stand out in front of Walmart passing out circulars , that’s not a 1st amendment “right”. It’s the right of the folks who own Walmart. You can’t force a newspaper to print your views.. They may or may not and if they deem it inappropriate for them, they refuse. Social Media is no different.

    Sometimes I get the impression that Conservative types think that everyone should have to listen to their messages because it is their free-speech “right”.

    Nope. We don’t have to listen, and social media platforms don’t have to support those messages.

    THe right has distinguished itself with a lot of sites that traffic in culture wars, disinformation, lies and conspiracy theories. Social Media companies have the right to decide which sites they think do not do that and which ones do. They’re not even required to tell you why if it’s not in their terms of service – that you have t
    AGREE to in the first place to use their service.

    It can be arbitrary as hell. A company cannot discriminate based on what the law says but if they don’t like your politics?

    Who wants what content, and what companies want to provide a platform? That’s a market, and not one where the folks with the message get to control who hears that message. That’s never going to be.

    1. No need for the usual insults of “conservative types,” Larry. I was asking a question, and I was soliciting feedback — a point that seems to have eluded you. The example of the Episcopal Church in Spotsvylania county will do well enough. If you come across the name, please let me know.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Conservative types seem to have more trouble with social media platforms in general and sometimes seem to confuse what 1st amendment “rights”where they assert they should be able to exercise them anywhere and that’s clearly not true.

        What the Constitution guarantees is that GOVERNMENT shall make no laws to restrict not that other non-govt entities are required to provide one with forums or venues to exercise them.

        EVEN Govt is not required to provide you with unrestricted venues and forums.

        I just don’t see lefties up in the air about this – it seems to be pretty much from Conservatives.

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Remember Larry,
      These “conservatives” are the same people who believe that the government (IRS) was singling out people for persecution (conservative 501(c)s), and to prove it, they wanted the government to compel testimony from an employee (Lois Lerner) with threats of jail.

      BTW, the point didn’t “elude” you, but truth of the situation eluded others.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Well.. it was not so much a “belief” as it was a strategy and it did work.

  5. Take a look at ANTIFA US on Facebook at and Antifa International at and consider whether you think Facebook is living up to the vague, anodyne sentiments it expresses about “protecting” social media.

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      Perhaps Antifa International got “authorized first by confirming [its] identity and creating a disclaimer that lists who is paying for the ads.” After all, supposedly Facebook is not interested in the ideology of its advertiser, only in ensuring that it is a legitimate site and not a bot.

    2. Facebook hasn’t de-platformed Antifa… but it hasn’t de-platformed Bacon’s Rebellion either. For a valid comparison, we’d have to show that Facebook allowed Antifa to run ads while rejecting ours.

  6. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Paranoia strikes deep.
    Into your lives it will creep.
    It starts when you’re always afraid.
    Step outta line, the man Algorithm comes,
    And takes you away.

    Just kidding. There is no algorithm that automatically rejects ads.

    FWIW, I have a snailmail address to which you can send your question.

    FB Ads
    P.O. Box 2300
    Menlo Park, CA 94025. ATTN: Lois Lerner

  7. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    Facebook and algorithms. Hmmm. Not going to work out they way they think it is. I have been delivering for Robertson Logistics. I have interacted with the Amazon warehouse, delivery stations, and the drivers. It is essentially set up as a giant algorithm. Everyday I see the warehouse workers, delivery station worker bees and the drivers gaming the algorithm to personal advantage. I approve! The one percenters are going to see their walls tumbling down just like at Jericho.

  8. Rafaelo Avatar

    “Bacon’s Rebellion is Virginia’s leading politically non-aligned portal for news, opinions and analysis about state, regional and local public policy.”

    –from your “About” squib. Try resubmitting the ad that way, without the word conservative. Then I will log onto Facebook and contribute. Oh wait — I want nothing to do with Facebook.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Earlier, I had alluded to a Church losing it’s FB account and not able to find out why. Somehow, they were subsequently able to create another account but I have no details at this point as to how.

  9. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    You do know that a Conservative Virginia blog just censored a commenter for criticizing Dave LaRock. To quote the owner herself “WTF’s posts criticizing the best delegate in Richmond, Dave LaRock, will be deleted.”

    I guess he was “Rejected by TBE”…

  10. DJRippert Avatar

    The people on this blog should read Matt Tiabbi’s book, “Hate, Inc”. It is a good primer on what the American media has become. And Tiabbi is hardly a right winger.

    Facebook, et al understand three important things:

    1. They get more attention by feeding people information with which the fed person agrees. “Us vs Them” is good for business.

    2. They get more attention by highlighting articles that demonize the other side in “Us vs Them” arguments. “All of them are idiots” is good for business.

    3. They exist in a “post truth” world where reality and objectivity mean almost nothing because time on the site (looking at ads targeted for you after pirating your personal data) is all that matters.

    The idea that there is effective competition to Facebook is absurd. The company claims 2.7 billion active users. That’s almost half the world and more than half of the connected world. If Exxon-Mobile sold more than half the gas consumed by automobile owners across the globe there would be endless calls for a breakup. As it is, there is a growing cadre of people who believe Facebook (and Google for that matter) should be broken up. I am one of those people.

    Should Facebook have been allowed to acquire Instagram? Should Google have been allowed to acquire YouTube? In a world where independent (especially local) media is dying how much consolidation is acceptable?

    Of the FAANG companies – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, I’d argue that only Netflix exists in a world of effective competition. As an example, Apple’s behavior with regard to its AppStore is abhorrent.

    Standard Oil, IBM, Microsoft … there have been plenty of examples of antitrust efforts by the US government against excessive consolidation in particular industries. My recollection is that the major antitrust cases have started under Republican administrations. Teddy Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and GHW Bush were in office when the initial filings against Standard Oil, IBM and Microsoft happened.

    No wonder that Facebook’s algorithms (and it was almost certainly an algorithm that flagged the BR ad) don’t like the term “conservative”.

    The worst thing that happened during the 21st century was the 9/11 attacks and the endless wars that followed. The second worst was the unchecked rise of a very few, hyper-consolidated, uncompetitive social media companies.

  11. LarrytheG Avatar

    Wait a minute. Isn’t this the free market at work? Since when do Conservatives want the government to force businesses to provide services where the government decides them?

    Conservatives have gone totally BONKERS here of late.

    If FB were a bakery – Conservatives would be arguing IN FAVOR of discrimination!

    FB is not discrimination based on religion or race or gender or culture or national origin but as a business they ought to have a right to decide on their terms of service… no?

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