1. Social Media

Facebook's Jewdar Blackout

Someone at Facebook mentioned to me at F8 last week that they were cracking down on questionable ads. I’m sad to report that Katan Adventures’ "Hey Jew" has been nixed by Facebook. Why? It gets really interesting as you read on below; Facebook seems to imply "Jew" is a dirty word.

To start though, as background reading, you can read my original post on Jewhavioral Targeting, and then the follow-up Jewdar column that ran in MediaPost.

As a reminder, here’s the ad that caused such a stir (click to enlarge – What, you can’t see it so small? Nu, are you not eating enough? What, you don’t like my cooking? [Sorry, I can’t help but channel my grandmother here]):


Ben from Katan Adventures just sent me this notice from Facebook:

Disapproved ad(s):

Hey Jew


Adventure travel that’s
worth the schlep!
Action-packed adventure
travel itineraries around
the world. Visit our
website today!

Ad Issue(s):

*  The text of this ad
contains language that is unacceptable or inappropriate. Per sections 3 and 8
of Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines, ad text must relate directly to the
content of the landing page and may not include any user attribute unless it is
directly relevant to the offer. The text may not contain, facilitate or promote
offensive, profane, vulgar, obscene, adult or inappropriate language. An ad for
a health product must follow the relevant guidelines in section 9. If you
choose to submit this ad again, please make the necessary changes so that it
adheres to all of Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines.


So now I’m left to wonder, which of the guidelines did this ad violate? It may be ballsy and even poorly planned targeting – Katan targeted everyone in large metro areas that have large Jewish populations – but what are these Sections 3 and 8? I checked Facebook’s Ad Guidelines; here are the relevant sections:

3. Ad Copy

    • Ads must directly relate to the content on the landing page.
    • Ads must clearly state and represent the company, product, or brand that is being advertised.
    • Ads may not utilize a user attribute, such as age, gender, or location, unless it is directly relevant to the offer.
    • Ads may not insult a user.

8. Language and image content

    • Provocative images will not be accepted.
    • Ads may not contain, facilitate or promote adult content, including
      nudity, sexual terms and/or images of people in positions or activities
      that are excessively suggestive or sexual.
    • Ads may not contain, facilitate or promote offensive, profane, vulgar, obscene, or inappropriate language.
    • Ads may not contain, facilitate or promote defamatory, libelous, slanderous and/or unlawful content.

So, which guidelines did Katan violate? For Section 3, it’s hard to say. The ad copy relates to the content on the landing page. Perhaps Katan should have used its own name in the copy, so it wouldn’t violate the second bullet. User attributes weren’t used in the copy. Is calling someone a Jew insulting? Well, I know a lot of Jews and non-Jews who’d say yes, so that’s probably the biggest problem, but I hope Facebook isn’t calling Jew a bad word.

As for Section 8, the image isn’t provocative at all; it’s a nature scene, and Katan’s a travel company. There’s clearly no sexuality going on here (if Jews were associated with that kind of thing, there’d be many more converts to the religion). The other bullets are just as puzzling. Is "Hey Jew" offensive, obscene, vulgar, defamatory, lielous, or unlawful? I’d love to find out from Facebook what Katan could have possibly violated from Section 8.

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