Are Facebook Ads Biased?
Rules, rules, and more rules – it seems as if we can never get away from them. Since we were kids, all we heard was, “no gum allowed on campus,” “don’t cross your eyes,” “no swimming after eating.” The list goes on and on, as you know. So, why must Facebook have so many rules? WHY, OH, WHY?! And not just basic rules, but in many cases, super bias! Let’s jump in with the most heavy one, shall we? For starters, Facebook believes the words “heavy bleeding/period” is inappropriate. Well, isn’t that just charming? Any brand or product trying to reach women who suffer from heavy periods or as others call it, heavy bleeding, won’t be able to do so with Facebook or Instagram ads. We’re in the 21st century, Facebook. Let’s wipe that period taboo off and move on with our lives.
Let’s move on to other rules, which seem, to me, quite prejudice, as well. Let’s dive into what Facebook calls, Lead Ads. The page says, “Advertisers must not create Lead Ad questions to request the following types of information without our prior written permission,” and goes on to give a list of things we, advertisers, cannot ask of our users. While I have no issue with this, I do have an issue with what they consider “requesting information.” Content creators, like me, use questions simply to give their content a little more oomph – it’s just our style, that’s all. However, over and over again copy like, “Looking to get a hysterectomy? Look no further.” is blocked by Facebook Ads. Which brings me to another bias rule – Medical Treatments. If you manage a medical-related page, then I’m almost positive you’ve been hit with a “your ad violated Facebook guidelines” message before. And you were most likely NOT violating a rule. Take this following example: The LifeStyle clinic was trying to promote a video about their acne removal procedure. Instead, they were faced with Facebook claiming it was adult content (lol.) When they re-submitted it, Facebook told them that “Surgical procedures on skin/Needles being injected in the skin/lips” was not allowed. So, you’re telling us, that you rather have us use stock images that do not at all relate to a certain procedure, than using a harmless-video? Well, now I’m confused. Facebook goes on and on about not having misleading posts. My friend, a stock photo is no more misleading than me telling you you’ll lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes by simply buying a product.
Now this point brings me to the Positioning section, which goes over relevancy, accuracy and landing pages. It claims the ads must be relevant and appropriate to the product/service being sold, must clearly represent the company, and may not offer or link to any prohibited product or service. Again, totally fine with me. Until, of course, you start to block content you believe is doing this.
And finally, the 20% text rule. I was excited to write a whole paragraph on it, but lucky for you – Facebook has removed this rule (yay!) However, I must note that your image can still be penalized it if it contains a chunk of text. While the square grid we all really hate no longer applies, I’d still recommend having 20% or less of text on your images.
So, we’ve come to the end of my long rant. And you might want to know what I’m looking for. Well here it is: I want a real person reviewing my content. I want a real person to see that my content doesn’t violate the rules, doesn’t and won’t harm anyone, and that my content isn’t asking for personal information, but just using a CTA to reach more users. And also, I want my ads to get promoted, duh! I’m asking for a real person, not a robot. Is that so hard?
What unfair Facebook Ads rule have you stumbled upon? Leave your comments below.