If you have ever posted anything on Facebook and tried to reach a wide audience, you know you just have to bite the bullet and pay for advertising. But apparently Epilepsy is now potentially offensive to the Facebook community. This makes raising epilepsy awareness via the platform a bit of a challenge.
Facebook has some rules and regulations advertisers need to follow. These are fair enough in most cases. For example, there can only be a certain amount of text in an image. Generally, I have found these rules inconvenient but not a real problem. But Facebook has finally take the rules and regs too far.
It started last Spring…
Last spring, I put out a call for more caregiver stories through a post on Facebook. When I tried to boost the post I was surprised to find the ad was rejected. A “boosted post” on Facebook has a wider reach that an unboosted post. I wanted to be sure plenty of caregivers knew about the opportunity to submit their story.
Here is the post I had hoped to boost. It seemed innocent enough to me.
Facebook’s thoughts on Epilepsy
I know when Facebook rejects an ad you can appeal the decision. So, I went ahead and submitted an appeal to Facebook. When I have done this in the past it has resulted in a prompt and positive response. But this time I received the following note:
Hi Jessica,Thanks for writing in.
Your ad wasn’t approved because the body/title text calls out to specific user attributes (ex: race, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender, disability or medical condition, financial status, membership in a trade union, criminal record, ethnicity, name). Such ads may offend the users and lead to high negative sentiment.
Ads should not single out individuals or degrade people. We don’t accept language like “Are you fat?”, “Are you in debt?” and the like. Instead, text must present realistic and accurate information in a neutral or positive way and should not have any direct attribution to people.
ex: Share your epilepsy experience
The language of the ad should be focused on the product and not users. You can recreate your post with these guidelines in mind and try to boost it again. If you used ad creation, you can edit it in your Ads Manager.
Was this helpful? Let us know Have a great day.
Thanks, Sophie Facebook Ads Team >On Tue Apr 25, 2017 16:59:20, Jessica Keenan Smith wrote: >Ad ID : 6068700010266 >Additional Information : This ad follows Facebook policies. I don’t understand why it was not approved. >
My entire site is a resource to those living with epilepsy. It is also
written by and founded by people living with epilepsy.
Share your epilepsy experience is not akin to “Are you fat?” or “Are you in
debt?”. Epilepsy is a disease state that affects more than 65 million
people world wide.
I appreciate your feedback. I will post an article on my site including
your response. I look forward to hearing the community’s response.
Following my note Facebook accepted my money and boosted the post. Ever since I have been careful to not include the word epilepsy in my posts.
The Final Straw
But this weekend when I put out a call for Ketogenic Diet recipes, Facebook denied all the posts I tried to boost. See the image below:
What’s Your Take?
Founder and CEO
Jessica brings a unique perspective to this leading epilepsy blog as she was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teen. She also brings 20+ years experience in marketing.