Besides making sure your news feed contains the items you are most likely to be interested in, Facebook’s AI is also responsible for blocking ads that promote drugs, violence, hate speech and other kinds of inappropriate content. There are more than 7 million active advertisers on Facebook running anywhere between one and a thousand ads each and the AI allows Facebook to moderate those ads without needing an army of humans to review them all.
If the Ad moderating algorithms “believe” your ad contains inappropriate images, symbols or words, it will block that ad from running. If the algorithm believes you have repeatedly tried to post inappropriate ads, it will block your entire account. Sounds reasonable?
It might be if the algorithm was completely accurate, however it is not. Not only are there many examples where Facebook’s algorithm erroneously allows ads that it should block, it also makes mistakes in the other direction.
Facebook has been blocking and in some cases totally banning a large number of customers who are probably doing nothing wrong. For example, Jordan Nabingon, the CEO of Shared, who spent over $46 million on Facebook, was blocked without any explanation.
HUMANS AT FACEBOOK ARE NOT ALLOWED OR ABLE TO EXPLAIN THE ALGORITHM—I’ve experienced this myself
My company uses Facebook Ads to promote our consulting services related to digital transformation, as well as my book, and webinars we conduct. These are very “above board” business services-- no drugs or weapons!
Yet many of our ads get blocked and our account regularly gets restricted. In some cases we have gone several weeks without being able to run ads.
When an account gets blocked by the algorithm you can submit an appeal but this can take several weeks to be reviewed. On several occasions, after an extended period of time being unable to run ads, we received apologies from the Facebook team and got our account reinstated after a human finally reviewed our ads and determined they were fine.
But then it wouldn’t take too long before our account would be blocked again by the AI.
Naturally we repeatedly asked Facebook “what are we doing wrong? to cause this?” In fact we begged them to tell us.