Facebook has lifted its ban on a campaign by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), which it originally suggested was too negative.
The emotive advert is part of the charity’s call for every eye department in the UK to have access to a sight loss adviser – a specially trained member of staff able to provide support to those who have discovered they’re losing their sight.
— RNIB (@RNIB) September 30, 2015
The charity launched the hard-hitting ad on YouTube earlier this month and has since tried to run it on Facebook.
However, the advertising team from the social networking site banned the ad on the grounds that it did not adhere to its guidelines on use of language that is “profane, vulgar, threatening or generates high negative feedback”.
Social media response
Melissa Berry, who is the voiceover for the ad, and many other members of the public criticised Facebook’s decision to the ban the advert.
— Melissa Berry (@Melissavoice) September 29, 2015
— Kirsty Marrins (@LondonKirsty) September 29, 2015
Following this outcry on social media, the technology giant has now apologised to the RNIB and said that it is reversing its decision.
“As the previous correspondence mentioned, we do not allow ads to directly assert the physical condition of the audience,” they said in an email to the charity. “This ensures that ads promotes a safe community and we maintain the trust of the audience on Facebook.”
It went on to add: “However, in this case, the intent is not to assert that the viewer is struggling with blindness, thus the language used in the copy and video are compliant. The ad has been re-approved, and you are able to set them back to active.”
Facebook – a place for people and organisations to campaign
A spokeswoman for Facebook has clarified the decision to reverse the ban. She said:
“Facebook is a place for people and organisations to campaign for the things that matter to them, and the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s video ad is a great example of that.
“In this instance we made a mistake, and have contacted the charity to let them know and to apologise for any inconvenience caused”.
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