I have observed a new wave of puritans on the net. Where has this puritanical sect chosen to practice their zealot habit? In the most unlikely of places – Facebook. Now, before I start, I freely accept that in a public forum there needs to be some rules governing the material you can display, but Facebook have taken it to a new level.
Many, like me, have taken to using social media to promote our books, art, or whatever, in order to make a living. One of the better ways of raising your profile is writing a post or setting an ad on Facebook and boosting it. This opens you to a new audience. It is a paid ad so I feel you should get a degree of latitude within the boundaries of decency. I am promoting BVS and what we sell is romance books, some of which are rather erotic. Even using the word erotic on Facebook opens you up to limitations. I wanted to promote my thoughts on Valentine’s Day, the post before this one, and thought I would boost the post on Facebook to reach a bigger audience. Although there was nothing really sexual in the post, as you can see if you red it, it is a rather cynical piece about the exploitative nature of the day guilting people into taking part. When boosting, it was rejected for its overly sexual content.
Over the last couple of years I have been using double entendres and rather risqué phrases such as do submissives get a fair crack of the whip? I know it is not that funny but it does draw the eye and give a smile. You have a heck of a job getting these kinds of ads past the FB censor for boosting. There are hoops you must also jump through, any wordage on the post must not take up more than 20% of the ad and the picture must not be sexual. The sexual nature of that image is down to their interpretation, for example.
The left was not an acceptable image as it exceeded the 20% text rule, which was fair enough. The centre is too explicit and the far right was approved. Of the second two pics, I fail to see any logic in that at all.
It makes for a very frustrating time promoting your work online in this kind of social media setting. There will come a time where FB’s grip of social media will weaken in the way that MySpace and Friends Reunited have waned and new platforms will arise. I hope that when this new platform gets here it will have a more sensible way of doing business.