NEWS - August-12-2014 Find us on Facebook? No, we're too gay!
As many of you know, since February this year Extra Dirty has been banned from paid advertising (also known as promoted posts) for violating their guidelines ("selling adult services") *. After numerous unanswered emails and phone calls I finally managed to get through to someone to try to resolve the problem. I was shocked to hear what they said. The conversation went something like this:
FB: The problem is the two men … you can’t have two men.
MF: But I promote a gay party, so I’m not going to have a man and a woman am I?
FB: You can’t have this image.
MF: Sorry, I’m just a bit confused. Can I not promote gay content?
FB: No you can’t promote this content.
MF: What if I just had one guy?
FB: Hmmmmm…. Not really.
MF: Look I really need to advertise and I don’t want to breach your guidelines so what if the image didn’t look gay?
FB: That should be ok … just so long as it doesn’t look gay!
MF: And does an actual person look at the image and assess it?
FB: Yes it's assessed by a person.
At this point I wanted to have a crack at the guy, but I need to get our account unblocked so I have to play nice. I’m also fairly certain I’m talking to someone in an off-shore call centre because I’m sure that our conversation would have breached a number of Australian laws if I was speaking with someone locally.
So this begs the bigger question: should Facebook be judging content targeted to a niche Australian audience (our own Facebook page) by the moral standards of another country? And what (if any) laws to do with discrimination, is this global corporation bound by?
For the record, the fella I spoke to was going to request that our case be reviewed but to date I've heard nothing back. We'll let you know if that changes. In the meantime we're still banned from paid promotion.
* The image in question was produced by Photographer Markham Lane - http://www.markhamimages.com and was inspired by Andy Warhol's famous artwork used as the movie poster for the 1980s cult classic Querelle.
Mel Fitzpatrick (aka Feisty)