• The Socialistas

How to Violate Facebook’s Advertising Policy

We were humming along, running Facebook ads, when in came a “red alert” that our messaging had violated Facebook’s advertising policy.

These alerts come up now and again if the ad contains the word “you.” Facebook doesn’t want people to feel singled out. Also anything to do with love. “Love” may mean sex services.

But this particular ad was about taxes. We run ads for Financial Harmony Tax Resolution--a business that helps people resolve tax debt.

Facebook said we were not vetted to run an ad about an issue of “political importance.” This is part of FB’s effort to root out Russian-sponsored fake news. In order to run a an ad about taxes, we were ordered to submit ID and fill out some online forms. Which we did.

The online forms led to a request for a photo of the ID. Which took about 75 tries. Seventy-four were rejected. Because there were shadows in some photos. Also angles sneak in. Because the iPhone has a slight bevel to the lens.

Then we needed to wait for a code through the mail. Thank goodness we still have mail.

We got the code. We’re vetted. We’ve proven we’re American citizens operating in the U.S. We have permission to use the word “taxes.” But not “you.” And not “love.” Not “dating.” Probably not “Democrat” or “Republican,” “election,” or “vote.” The only people hoping the list gets longer are postal workers.

Still, plenty of words out there that don’t require vetting.

We don’t have to say “love.” “Like” can sound strong. In a friendly, non-dating way. In a way that would never suggest that you vote. Or pay taxes. And we don’t have to say “you.” Indeed, we can’t. Until we’re vetted.

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