Social media censorship is disturbingly real.

by MinhaMenteEhLivre

I’ve been helping promote a podcast for a client on Facebook (a news anchor, producer, author, and private investigator). It’s called A Cigar on the Deck, but that’s just the title, based on the idea of casually “shooting the shit” on the deck while smoking a cigar. The podcast itself includes thoughts and opinions on stories he’s covered, people he’s met, books, politics, life etc.

But Facebook started banning my ads from the get-go because it was apparently “promoting the sale or use of tobacco products”, which is funny because later in the policy it states “Please keep in mind that we do allow ads that promote connecting people who share the same interest in tobacco products (ex: cigar connoisseurs).” It even states that it allows “blogs or groups connecting people with tobacco-related interests, as long as the service does not lead to the sale of tobacco or tobacco-related products.”

Initially, when I appealed the decision and stated my point, they allowed the ad. Then they took it down again partway through the promotion. I submitted ad after ad, this time creating a new facebook page to promote it called “ACOTD Podcast”, making sure there was no tobacco or smoke-related imagery, began referring to it as ACOTD Podcast… there was literally nothing related to cigars in my ads at all. And they continued to ban them.

At one point, I even ran an ad mentioning “censorship” and “first amendment”, and they would not approve it, stating “The text and/or imagery you’re using is related to politics or an issue of national importance, based on the definition we’re using for enforcement. However, your Page is not authorized to run these types of ads.”

Wow. Not even allowed to speak freely about freedom of speech.