Facebook refused to let me promote my post explaining what fascism really is

Facebook rejects meThe other day, I wrote a post entitled “Dear Elites — no, Trump is not a fascist, but Hillary probably is.” I illustrated it with a picture I found on the internet of Hillary giving her famous “what difference does it make [that four men died on my watch]” testimony, with the slight addition of a toothbrush mustache (yes, of the type Hitler wore) and a raised middle finger.

Putting aside the picture, the entirety of the post is given over to explaining what fascism is (statism with cronyism is a good shorthand); explaining why Trump, whatever else he is, is not a fascist (primarily because he promises to keep guns in citizens’ hands, but also because the core of what he’s saying is that his administration will obey laws already on the books and because he promises to shrink our bureaucracy); and why Hillary does fall into the fascist mode (everything within the all-powerful state, a disarmed citizenry, government-controlled rights to speech, and solid cronyism with Wall Street).

I thought it was a good post, making a point that is too frequently overlooked by Trump critics on both the Left and the Right, as well as by Hillary’s fans on the Right. It’s a small antidote to the fact that, in the decades since WWII, American Leftists have done a superb job of destroying fascism’s completely statist (i.e., Leftist) roots and attaching this negative label to conservatives. Conservatives, of course, are the antithesis of fascism, in that they stand for small government, the free market, and individual liberties, including the right to bear arms, a freedom that’s anathema to despots.

Facebook refused to help sell my post

Others seem to have thought it was a good post too because I got what is, for me, a nice number of views when I posted it on my blog’s Facebook page (see above): 448 as of this writing. Indeed, up until an hour or two ago, what existed in the place where you now see that “Not Boosted” notice was a message from Facebook telling me that the post was doing better than 95% of my other posts on that same page and suggesting that I “boost” it — meaning that I turn it into one of those irritating “sponsored posts” that periodically show up on your Facebook feed.

Since I’ve been working hard lately, I admit to wanting to live a little large. Couple that “rich” feeling with the fact that I felt (and still feel) that the post says something important, I decided to blow $3 and promote the post for three days. Sometimes you just have to go for it!

Sadly, five minutes after mentally kissing the $3 goodbye and hitting “go” on the boosting, I got this message:

Facebook rejects me

Curious as to what policies I violated, I followed the link. Here, in its entirety (along with my interlineations), is that portion of the advertising policies regarding “prohibited content”:

Prohibited Content
  1. Ads must not constitute, facilitate, or promote illegal products, services or activities. Ads targeted to minors must not promote products, services, or content that are inappropriate, illegal, or unsafe, or that exploit, mislead, or exert undue pressure on the age groups targeted. [Nope, not me.]
  2. Ads must not promote the sale or use of the following:
    1. Illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs; [No.]
    2. Tobacco products and related paraphernalia; [No.]
    3. Unsafe supplements, as determined by Facebook in its sole discretion; [No.]
    4. Weapons, ammunition, or explosives; or [No.]
    5. Adult products or services (except for ads for family planning and contraception). [And no.]
  3. All ads must not violate our Community Standards. Ads on Instagram must not violate theInstagram Community Guidelines. Additionally, ads must not contain any of the following:
    1. Content that infringes upon or violates the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other personal or proprietary rights. [No.]
    2. Adult content. This includes nudity, depictions of people in explicit or suggestive positions, or activities that are overly suggestive or sexually provocative. [Definitely no. Indeed, young people would improve their minds significantly if they read my post.]

Image 1

  1. Shocking, sensational, disrespectful, or excessively violent content. [Maybe?  I defined what a fascist is — a statist who works hand in hand with big business — and said that, while Trump isn’ta fascist, Hillary probably is. I’m pretty sure the entire Facebook hierarchy felt insulted by that bit of historic and linguistic reality.]

Image 2

  1. Content that asserts or implies personal attributes. This includes direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s race, ethnic origin, religion, beliefs, age, sexual orientation or practices, gender identity, disability, medical condition (including physical or mental health), financial status, membership in a trade union, criminal record, or name. [Well, I did assert that Hillary has a fascist belief system — but so does half the Democrat party, the half that didn’t follow Bernie and go fully communist.]
    Image 3
  2. Deceptive, false, or misleading content, including deceptive claims, offers, or business practices. [Nope, I was strictly accurately, historically, ideologically, and linguistically.]
  3. Content that exploits controversial political or social issues for commercial purposes. [Despite the ads I optimistically put up on my webpage, there’s no money in this for me, more’s the pity.]
  4. Audio or flash animation that plays automatically without a person’s interaction or expands within Facebook after someone clicks on the ad. [Oh, ick. No!]
  5. Non-functional landing pages. This includes landing pages that interfere with a person’s ability to navigate away from the page. [As if!  The whole point was to get people to a functional landing page.]
  6. Spyware, malware, or any software that results in an unexpected or deceptive experience. This includes links to sites containing these products. [God forbid!]
  7. Bad grammar or punctuation. Symbols, numbers, and letters must be used properly. [I take serious umbrage that someone would even suggest that in connection with my writing. The occasional (0kay, frequent) typo . . . maybe, but bad grammar and punctuation? Never!]
  8. Images that portray nonexistent functionality. [Not that I’d ever want to, but I couldn’t even if I did want to.]
    Image 4
  9. Images that contain “before-and-after” images or images that contain unexpected or unlikely results. [The only illustrations I have are before and after having babies, and it’s not pretty.]
  10. Image 5
  11. Payday loans, paycheck advances or any other short-term loan intended to cover someone’s expenses until their next payday. [No.]
  12. Content leading to external landing pages that provide an unexpected or disruptive experience. This includes misleading ad positioning, such as overly sensationalized headlines, and leading people to landing pages that contain minimal original content and a majority of unrelated or low quality ad content. [Never!  Unless opening your mind to new ideas is “an unexpected or disruptive experience.” That, of course, is a real possibility for the uninitiated reading my informative post.]

I’m lacking data here, so I have no idea if those Progressives who routinely have called Trump (and Bush and Romney and any other conservative) a fascist or used pictures with silly toothbrush mustaches have also been rejected. No data, no hard accusations, right?

It’s just that, knowing Facebook’s little troubles with conservatives, let’s say I’m dubious. Without any further information (and I know I’ll never get that information), I’m going with my gut here and believe that the fact that I included the words “fascist” and “Hillary” in the same sentence was what got the Facebook algorithm bent out of shape and caused it to reject my generous $3 splurge on post promotion.

(And yes, I’m going to promote on Facebook this post about Facebook refusing to allow me to broadcast my message to a wider Facebook audience.]