Why is Facebook rejecting these fashion ads?
The latest in a story of misunderstanding
And this is how it works: a company creates an ad or creates a shop and submits it to Facebook for approval, an automated process. (If it’s a storefront, the products can also arrive via a feed, and everyone has to follow Facebook rules.) If the system reports a possible violation, the ad or product will be sent back to the company as non-compliant. But the exact word or part of the picture that caused the problem is not identified, which means it is up to the company to effectively guess where the problem is.
The company can then either object to the ad / listing or change the image or wording it hopes will meet Facebook rules. In either case, the communication is sent back through the automated system where it can be verified by another automated system or an actual person.
According to Facebook, it has added thousands of reviewers in the past few years, but three million companies advertise on Facebook, most of which are small businesses. The Facebook spokeswoman did not identify what would trigger an appeal to a human assessor or whether there was a codified process by which this would happen. Often times, the small business owners feel trapped in an endless machine-controlled loop.
“The problem we keep running into is communication channels,” said Sinéad Burke, an inclusion activist advising numerous brands and platforms, including Juniper. “Access has to mean more than just digital access. And we need to understand who is in the room when these systems are created. “
The Facebook spokeswoman said there are employees with disabilities across the company, including senior management, and there is an accessibility team that has worked together on Facebook to embed accessibility into the product development process. But while Facebook’s advertising and store policy rules were undoubtedly in part intended to protect their communities from false medical claims and counterfeit products, those rules, if they are, also block some of those communities from accessing too Products made for you.
“That is one of the most typical problems we see,” says Tobias Matzner, Professor of Media, Algorithms and Society at the University of Paderborn. “Algorithms solve the problem of efficiency on a large scale” – by recognizing patterns and making assumptions – “but by doing this one thing, they’re doing all sorts of other things, like hurting small businesses.”