Facebook investigates why charity's adverts were banned

The social media giant told Flying Scholarships for Disabled People that its advertising breached its diversity guidelines

One of the adverts
One of the adverts

Facebook is investigating after it banned a series of adverts for a charity that teaches disabled people to fly.

The Gloucestershire-based charity Flying Scholarships for Disabled People released a series of adverts featuring the name and photograph of some of its beneficiaries, naming their disabilities but also explaining that they were pilots, and encouraging viewers to find out more.

But the charity received a notification from Facebook saying the adverts breached its diversity guidelines and could not be run.

Facebook’s advertising policy state that adverts must not contain content that makes assertions or implications about the attributes of the people who are likely to see them, including "direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person's... disability, medical condition (including physical or mental health)". It also forbids content that discriminates or disparages people.

The charity was told its adverts had been banned in an automated email from Facebook, which said "such copy can feel personal in nature and we don’t want users to feel singled out", according to a report in The Sun newspaper.

In a statement, Julie Bull, the general manager of the charity, said the success of the charity was down to its volunteers and scholars like those who had featured in the adverts and who wanted to promote the charity in order to reach more disabled people.

"We will leave the public to decide if these very special individuals are being disadvantaged by social media organisations," she said.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the internet giant was looking into the issue.

"We take the quality of ads on Facebook very seriously and review an enormous volume of ads on a daily basis," she said.

"Sometimes we make mistakes, and we’re investigating whether these ads go against our policies. We will work with Flying Scholarships to resolve this issue."

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