On March 7, 2022, I promoted a Facebook post announcing my upcoming keynote on regnerative agriculture. The talk was titled “How Farmers Can Be Climate Heroes” and was to be given at the Center for Agricultural Resilience, a nonprofit, educational division of White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia, USA. The promotion started running, and I didn’t think much more of it, until a few days later, when I got a notice saying that the ad had been rejected because it didn’t comply with FB’s advertising policy regarding “Social Issues, Elections or Politics.” There was no additional information about how the promotion violated those policies or what I could do about it.
As perplexing as this was, it wasn’t the first time. In December of 2021, what I considered a completely innocuous promotion for my organization’s website, Soil4Climate.org, was similarly rejected.
In the Facebook ads manager there is no category for “environmental issues,” just “social issues, elections or politics.” Understandably, Facebook had to impose some controls after the election meddling debacle it created for itself in the aftermath of the 2016 US presidential elections that brought Trump to office, but something seems profoundly amiss if a small nonprofit like Soil4Climate can’t promote itself or a an individual like myself can’t promote a lecture I’m giving.