I am not a threat to national security — Facebook told me so.
I posted an ad on the Humphrey Democrat Facebook page and paid to boost it, meaning for a fee Facebook will make sure the ad is seen by more people than I normally reach.
Once you boost your ad, Facebook has to approve the content.
It did not.
I received a message that night that because of political reasons and because of a threat to national security, my ad was rejected.
My ad was promoting our printing options for businesses — letterhead, invoices, envelopes, stampers and other similar items.
No threat to national security here.
This seemed particularly odd and even more frustrating coming from a company that admitted Russia hacked into it and influenced the last presidential election.
Facebook was one of the social media outlets Russian hackers used and abused, but an ad for envelopes and letterhead is what set off their alarms? Good grief.
I was allowed to appeal the decision, and it subsequently ruled my invoices and stampers are not a threat to the country, so the ad was allowed.
I have no idea how Facebook reviews submissions, whether it is ads or other content, but there is a lot of crap on Facebook and all other forms of social media, so its standards are questionable at best.
If they are being extra cautious these days, I get it. They were burned, and so was anyone who believed what they were reading and sharing with others.
Then again, we should all be skeptical of what we hear and should check out the facts ourselves rather than believe what some sponsored site on Facebook tells us is the truth.
Still, it bothered me that I had to go through some stress just to promote my business.
It is hard enough to be a small-town business, trying to convince people to at least check in on what you have rather than automatically heading out of town without having your ads blocked for security reasons.
Ironically, I had previously posted an ad promoting my newspaper’s e-edition with no trouble.
Maybe the wrong person saw my ad. Maybe they didn’t read it carefully. Maybe they saw the word Democrat and thought it was a political ad.
I don’t know what the reason was, but people share all types of political stories from sponsored sites that obviously made it past Facebook’s security.
When I post ads promoting my business in the future, I will spend time wringing my hands wondering if I’m going to be blocked again, and will I have to defend my business.
For now, I can assure you our envelopes and statements do not pose a threat to our nation’s security.