Facebook says sorry for banning charity ad

Seetheneed cropped

​Facebook reverses its decision to ban RNIB campaign and apologises to the charity

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30th September 2015 by Graham Martin 2 Comments

Facebook has sensationally reversed its decision to ban a hard-hitting charity advert.

The Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) had the video ad for its #seetheneed campaign knocked back because the social media giant reckoned people should only see “neutral or positive” messages.

There was an outcry and Facebook backed down – admitting it had got it wrong and apologising to the charity.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “Facebook is a place for people and organisations to campaign for the things that matter to them, and the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s video ad is a great example of that. In this instance we made a mistake and have contacted the charity to let them know and to apologise for any inconvenience caused”.

RNIB’s latest drive aims to promote the need for sight loss advisers in every UK hospital.

The video, launched on the charity’s YouTube channel where it has been viewed almost 60,000 times, aims to make viewers think about how they would feel if their sight was under threat.

In the ad, a woman is seen becoming tearful as a voiceover explains that she has just been told she will lose her sight.

The voiceover states: “You’ll fear for your job, your home, your life. You’ll see everyone losing their sight needs the right support.”

RNIB wanted to pay to run the ad on Facebook, but the company initially blocked it, saying it breaks its guidelines on language that is “profane, vulgar, threatening or generates high negative feedback”.

The charity’s social media team was also told Facebook just doesn’t like hard-hitting ads.

A member of Facebook’s advertising team told RNIB: “We’ve found that people dislike ads that directly address them or their personal characteristics.

“Ads should not single out individuals or degrade people. We don’t accept language like “fear of losing your sight, losing your job?” and the like.

“Instead, text must present realistic and accurate information in a neutral or positive way and should not have any direct attribution to people.”


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1st October 2015 by G

Bit rich for them to insist on 'neutral or positive' content when they're about to launch a dislike button!

2nd October 2015 by Simon

Hooray! Justice, and common sense, prevails. Well done RNIB.