Facebook declines climate change ads, citing ‘sensitive’ content policy: report

Policy requires authorization for advertising on sensitive, political, social issues, including climate change

News Desk June 24, 2024

Facebook, owned by Meta Platforms, has declined advertisements promoting climate change stories, citing its policy on “sensitive” topics, according to a report by Radio New Zealand.

James Frankham, the publisher of New Zealand Geographic, criticized Facebook's opaque algorithm for obstructing crucial journalism.

He noted that changes to Meta’s algorithm have made it necessary to pay for visibility of the magazine's content.

“It’s impossible to find out exactly why posts were rejected,” Frankham said, calling the Facebook algorithm a “black box.”

Facebook’s policy requires authorization for advertising on sensitive, political, or social issues, including climate change.

According to Meta’s policy for New Zealand, ads involving discussion, debate, or advocacy on topics like climate change and gas extraction are subject to review and enforcement.

Media commentators, including Colin Peacock from RNZ’s Mediawatch, remarked that New Zealand Geographic is not alone in facing these restrictions, as Meta has ceased sharing news links on its platform.

Peacock argued, “Facebook is a private company and can establish its own policies, but in this instance, it has made an error.”

In New Zealand, progress on the Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill, similar to laws in Australia requiring Facebook to pay for news content, has stalled. This leaves publishers like New Zealand Geographic struggling to reach readers with important climate change journalism.




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