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What Do You Need to Know About Facebook’s Content Review Policy?

David Bosley

By now, everybody has heard about the foreign Facebook accounts that spread false information and engaged in malicious behavior. This affects marketers directly because, as a result of this scandal, Facebook is putting a vigorous emphasis on their content review policy, nearly doubling the amount of content moderators they employed last year. And as of last month, this includes their app review policy, too. Facebook is only targeting malicious and dishonest pages, but it’s inevitable that some legitimate ads and companies may fall in the line of fire.

Since we know how powerful a platform Facebook is for advertising, it’s easy to see why it’s important to fully understand Facebook’s content review policy. Let’s take a look at exactly what we need to know about their review policy and how we can make sure we’re in compliance:

1. Understanding the Community Standards

Earlier this year, Facebook released its community standards for the very first time. The first step of ensuring you’re in compliance is reviewing and understanding these rules. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Violence and criminal behavior: any calls to violence or messages that could be perceived as threatening aren’t allowed. This includes terrorist activity or illegal goods (such as marijuana or online gambling in certain states).
  • Safety: any content that could pose a threat to a person or business can be taken down, including anything that contains private information.
  • Objectionable content: anything that might be overly offensive to most people is included in this, including things covered by other sections. This includes hate language, overtly graphic images, and nudity.
  • Integrity and authenticity: content must not be explicitly false or misleading. This includes SPAM and purposefully misrepresented pages.
  • Respecting intellectual property: you cannot post any photos or content that you do not own yourself.

Understanding exactly the rules and guidelines for Facebook content makes it easy to stay compliant.

2. Timing is Everything

Facebook’s massive compliance team works many different hours. It makes sense, however, that the bulk of their team works when the rest of their company does. Companies find that they receive the quickest review turnaround during typical business hours on West Coast, usually between 8 am and 8 pm PST, with the earlier hours being the most effective.

Even if you’re submitting during these prime hours, make sure to leave yourself enough time for Facebook’s team to review your content and your marketing team to make any necessary revisions at least once. If you’re submitting the same day you need to start an ad campaign, you run the risk of having your entire campaign held up.

3. Handling Rejections Appropriately

Keep in mind that ad reviews are a manual process. If you truly believe that your ad is fully within compliance of Facebook’s requirements, it could simply be that a human reviewer misinterpreted something or made a mistake. You may simply request a second review, which is handled by another person, typically within one business day. If the contest was flagged incorrectly, you’ll be notified immediately and everything will be restored automatically.

Unless you’re certain that you are fully compliant, however, you may want to reach out to Facebook to ask why your ad was rejected. You can then fix any issues and submit the content again. This is preferable over submitting the same content over and over again, as getting too many rejections in a short period of time may place a red flag on your ad account.