Misfiring Facebook Ad Ban Hits LGBTQ Brands

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Adverts for events and services in the LGBTQ community have been hit by a misfiring Facebook crackdown, which has wrongly labelled them ‘political’.

Researchers at The Washington Post found “dozens” of innocuous LGBTQ advertisements taken down in Facebook’s Ad Library, which supposedly lets users “search ads related to politics or issues of national importance”.

An LGBTQ “Spanish-language social group” for Latino men based in Las Vegas was banned, as was a list of “senior-friendly housing options” provided by a nonprofit in Texas.

The LGBT Network – another nonprofit – had around 15 of its advertisements blocked by Facebook moderation. An LGBTQ-themed tourist trip to Antarctica also encountered issues.

Facebook responded to one complainant, saying: “Thanks for the email now after reviewing the screenshots you have provided, it mentions LGBT which would fall under the category of civil rights which is a political topic.

“You would need to be authorized to run ads with this content.”

Facebook spokeswoman Devon Kearns defended some of the decisions, arguing that “several” of the blocked advertisements “advocate for various policies or political positions”.

It is not clear whether any LGBTQ dating sites were hit by the political filter.

In July, GDI took a look at Facebook’s advertising policy for dating sites. Platforms must become “registered dating partners” before posting an advert on Facebook.

Read more here.