A Short Rant About Facebook Ads, and a Call To Action

I’ve been talking about the joys and challenges of retirement for a while, but must now sidetrack to complain about my recent experience with Facebook advertising. You don’t have to be old in order to annoy people, some people start before they can vote. Maybe it’s just a natural progression. From Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and diabetes to hypothyroidism, and chronic pain, a number of medical conditions are associated with irritability, anger, and despair—each of which can lead to an uptick in complaining. I’m not saying that I have any of those conditions, I guess I’m just saying that I’ve earned the right to complain. Maybe it’s the recent rotator cuff surgery and too much down time to think about the seeming injustice of the treatment I got from the Facebook advertising department, I dunno.

So what’s wrong with Facebook ads? Initially, I thought nothing. They deserve to get paid for advertising SongDoggy posts to a target demographic. My issue is with the nitpicking that is done over the ads when they censor or restrict seemingly innocuous posts without giving a proper reason. In addition to that, they use their nitpicking as an excuse to further invade the privacy of the folks doing the advertising. This all sounds rather nebulous, so lemme give you a concrete example.

I recently took one of my retirement posts for SongDoggy and wanted to expand it to a bigger audience. The post was about finance and finding a proper financial advisor. So I “boosted” that post with a few dollars to get more clicks and to expand the audience for SongDoggy. Over a weeks time, I saw hundreds of new interactions and reactions to the article. It was all rosy and happy happy until for some reason Facebook took my ad down and disallowed me from posting any new ads until they got more information about me. No reason was given for the ad being taken down, only that I needed to start clicking through their resolution process on Facebook. I innocently proceeded down the path of resolving the issue up to the point where they requested a photo of my driver’s license.

Sorry Facebook, I shall not be sending you a picture of my drivers license, even if you say pretty please. So the bottom line is that I won’t be doing any ads on Facebook, until I’m given a valid reason for my ad being taken down. And apparently I won’t get that explanation until I send you my driver’s license. It’s a standoff that I doubt I shall win, as I’m sure they have bigger accounts than my piddling few dollars of advertising revenue that they have given up. The best way that I know to combat injustice is through song, so I ask for your patience and help here.

I leave you with a slightly modified version of a diatribe from Alice’s Restaurant Massacre with apologies to Arlo.

And friends, somewhere in Menlo Park California enshrined in some little folder, is a study in black and white of my SongDoggy post. And the only reason I’m singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation. And if you’re in a situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into Facebook headquarters and say “Mark Zuckerberg, You can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant.”. And walk out.

You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t ban him from advertising on Facebook. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both nuts and they won’t ban either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singing a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singing a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement. And that’s what it is, the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Facebook Advertising Movement, and all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come’s around on the Guitar.

With feeling.

So we’ll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and sing it when it does. Here it comes.

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant …

Arlo Guthrie