I am a Facebook user and have been for a little while. I decided to promote a site through their social ads network. Their network allows you to pay for your business to be promoted to other targeted Facebook users by way of a flyer. You pay for this out of your own money and you can decide what your ad looks like and who it goes to.
It was all going so well for me with the ads. I picked out my target audience, women in the US over 18 who like women. In Facebook there’s no option to say you like lesbians, so women was the closest I could get. Anyway, everything is going fine and I type in the name of the site I want to promote ‘Lesbian Gamers’. I upload a graphic and click on set budget…. but I get this odd message back about there being a ‘blocked string’. What could it possibly be I wondered? I thought perhaps I’d put in an exclamation mark or something that wasn’t allowed to be there, so I started messing around with things. It soon became clear to me that the ‘blocked string’ or ‘blocked word’ as it were was ‘lesbian’. Yes everyone, apparently lesbian is a term that is banned on Facebook advertising.
Well you can imagine my disgust at finding that out. I couldn’t believe it. I’m a proud lesbian, how dare Facebook make me feel like what I am is a vulgar term. So I decided to write to complain. This is my email:
I was trying to create an advert for my website Lesbian Gamers.com and I am disgusted to see that the word ‘lesbian’ is a blocked string on Facebook! My site is an above board, clean and friendly site and I feel morally offended that what I am, and the term used to describe me has been blacklisted on facebook. I understand that there are some people who may use the term for vulgar means, but surely cutting out Facebook users who want to promote their business is abhorrent. I’d like further information on this.
And the response that I received this morning was this:
“We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause. We will certainly keep your feedback in mind as we continue to improve our advertising system.
Thanks for understanding”
Well quite frankly, no I don’t understand. The response seems to be a generic response sent out to ANYone. Don’t they understand the political implications of this? On further research I discovered that you can’t even call a Facebook page anything with the word Lesbian in it. I’m absolutely outraged that in this day and age these prehistoric notions of lesbianism still exist. Facebook has gone down in my estimation.
End of rant
I have written this response to Facebook after being told that lesbian is the only word they’re blocking:
“I don’t really understand the situation to be honest. There’s no block on the words gay, bisexual or transgendered. Why is lesbian blocked out?”
I will await their answer and let you all know.