Facebook automatically labels any advertisements containing the words “bush” or “Clinton” as political content and inadvertently bans them, even if they’re not political.
Ads for products like Bush’s Baked Beans or ads for bush-trimming have been flagged as political ads, and are therefore subject to Facebook’s political ad policy wherein the advertiser must confirm his or her identity, according to The Hill.
Facebook blocked a Beeville, Texas, Walmart ad for including Bush’s Baked Beans on Friday, just ahead of Independence Day, because it included the word “bush,” mistaking it to be a reference to the Bush family.
The operator of the Facebook account would have to go through the timely process of verifying his or her identity, which includes sending in legal identification, like the last four digits of the user’s Social Security number.
Facebook announced May 24 a new political ad policy that aims to help users understand the context behind election- or issue-based ads by adding a “Paid for by” label that, when users click it, shows information behind the source of the ad.
Other ads that Facebook automatically labeled political include anything with the name “Clinton.” Clinton, according to Bloomberg, is one of the most popular city names in the country.
“Come learn how COOL Jesus’s love is!” an ad by a vacation bible school in Clinton, Indiana, read. Facebook immediately labeled the ad political and blocked it from being advertised. (RELATED: Facebook Continues Battle Against Gun Content, Will Stop Showing Firearm Accessory Ads To Minors)
Another ad, this time from an insurance company in Clinton, Iowa, was blocked from advertising its annual baseball night for friends and customers, which included a backpack drive for needy children.
Facebook has had issues with its new political ad policy before. The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Facebook blocked an ad on May 30 from a professor, Sean Guillory, who aimed to share his podcast that included insights on how Russian news outlets report on President Donald Trump.
“This is the crux of the problem: What is ‘political’?” Guillory told TheDCNF. “I see my podcast as educational in that its mission is to interview people who have some expert knowledge about Eurasia’s politics, culture and history, discuss that knowledge and paint a more complex picture of Eurasia for my audience.”
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