Fix Rejected Facebook Ads in 2020- The Most Common Rule Broken

Today I want to help you fix your Facebook ads that are being rejected for the Facebook rule around Social issues, Elections or Politics. I’ve noticed a lot of ads being rejected because of that rule. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone running ads has at least one ad being rejected for that rule.

So if that’s you- keep reading because I have a lot of help in store for you. The reason this rule is coming up is because Facebook is really tightening security on the platform. It’s trying to prevent fake news around Covid and also around politics – including US elections are in November.

I’m going to cover 4 topics below. (Here’s some handy timestamps if you want to skip to these in the video):

1. The Facebook rule for Social Issues, Elections or Politics- 2:15

2. An example of a rejected ad, so you can see what to avoid- 5:13

3. Steps to fix an ad that was incorrectly flagged and ISN’T political- 7:09

4. Steps to fix an ad that IS political- 9:45

Let’s go over each of these.

1.Facebook Ad Policy
Within the Restricted Content section of Facebook Ad Policy, there is item 10a. Ads About Social Issues, Elections or Politics.


An overview of this rule is in in grey at the top: “Advertisers can run ads about social issues, elections, or politics. You can run those ads- provided the advertiser complies with all laws and authorization process required by Facebook. Where appropriate, Facebook may restrict issue, electoral, or political ads.”

I found this rule confusing because I kept getting ads rejected for air conditioners and air purifiers. I had to click the link for “social issue” on that page and look up what those are. I looked under my country, and I saw that health was on this list. That’s when I knew that Facebook was looking at my ad and thinking that I was talking about Covid.

I talked to some other social media managers as well. Long story short is that anything that can be interpreted as a political issue by a robot is what is going to get your ad flagged so 1) keep in mind that it’s not a human reading this. Facebook has thousands of ads being reviewed so it needs to use a robot – but robots aren’t that sharp.

Robots are looking at your sentence structure and they’re misinterpreting what you’re saying.You almost have to look at your ads from the eyes of an editor and the way things are phrased. Would a robot misinterpret this?

2) Also be aware of all of the hot-button issues in the the last decade or so including global warming, Covid, politics..  Anything that has been somewhat politicized. That definitely includes Covid.

I talked to Facebook help and they wouldn’t admit that it was Covid. So that’s why I’m here to bring clarity around this. By consulting with other social media managers, and looking at the way this is stated, I’m telling you it’s all about Covid. Plus Facebook has said in the news- we’re trying to avoid fake news around Covid. If you ask them directly, they will not connect the dots for you.  I’m here to help you connect the dots.

2. Example of a Rejected Ad
Here is an example of a rejected ad. It’s really probably the language getting the ad flagged. I suggest that you write your ad, let it rest for a day, and then come back and look at it methodically.

You’re welcome to read through the ad, but here’s some of the language that a bot could misinterpret. This says “If you’re wondering about hot weather” I said hot weather, that could mean climate change.

Another thing, I was trying to make a point here because this company is in a rural area- in the country. So I kept saying “country family.” Then I even dared to say “Help our country” . Here it is: “We just want to help our country neighbors out.” We just want to “help our country…” So if you take that out of context, this looks like wow, you know, I’m running for some political office.

Another ad that got flagged- I started it off with “Air quality has been a real issue lately.” It’s been an “issue” lately.I did not start it off in the best way. If you can, find other words.

3. Steps To Fix an Ad That Was Incorrectly Flagged And ISN’T Political
I had another  ad that was rejected according to that Facebook rule for political or social ads and it wasn’t a political ad.  It’s an ad about our conditioners – no way is this a political ad. I knew it was being rejected for that rule because I got this pop up above the ad at the as level in Facebook Ads Manager.

This specific pop up says “create a disclaimer” because I already went through the review process. The request review button is grey, because I already requested a review once. That is how you get this approved.

You would go and push “Request Review” and then most likely a bot is gonna review it again. To be honest, you can punch that if you have time to wait a day or two, but I found that the bot just agrees with what the other bot said earlier. I don’t know your situation- maybe you can wait a day or two.  If you want to give a try, then push the request review button and it will automatically review it again.

If you want to get it reviewed even faster, you can go to the bottom left or your screen in Ads Manager to “Help Center.” If it’s between 8:00am to 5:00pm or a reasonable time on the weekend, there will be a pop-up box for chat “Contact support team.”

When you push “Contact support team” a form will pop up and you can fill it out to talk to someone live. When you hit submit on the form, it will start a conversation in Messenger with your personal profile.

I found the conversation tends to go well in chat. If it goes on a while, they will call you up. This is a good way to go for a truly non-political ad. You can get a human to review your ad and then you most likely don’t have to change your language. A human can read it and know it’s not political. This is the fastest way to fix a non-political ad, versus changing different sentences until you get the right sentence and acceptable language.

4. Steps to fix an ad that IS political
Next we’ll go over how to fix an ad that is actually a political ad and even a human looking at it is going to say “you need to change your language.” 

I had an ad that was rejected for the rule we’re discussing and we discovered it was actually a social issue we were presenting. The client wanted to do more around Covid 19 News. It was relevant for them.

Nowhere in the rule does it say Covid 19, even though Covid 19 is plastered all over Facebook anytime you go on there. Facebook  wants to help you with Covid 19,  but it will not mention Covid in this set of rules.

Once we put together that this is Covid 19 based, I determined that the only way that we’d be able to run this is to go through Facebook’s Identity confirmation process.

If you similarly conclude that your topic is a social issue in Facebook’s eyes, then punch this button and go through the process. The following pop up will show up above your ad at the ad level in Ads Manager.

Now I will warn you that it’s a bit invasive. Facebook will go to great extent to confirm it’s you. I entered my home address and they literally mailed me a code and I had to come back and enter the code into Facebook. So they know it’s me. It’s not some fake account. They know my name. They know my address. I entered a code. They’re making sure I’m not a bad actor.

In the video you can see that I already did half the process because half the process is getting the ad person, the person in the ad role, to confirm their identity.

Then the second part is to get the Page Administrator to confirm their information and that includes submitting your Tax ID or EIN business number to Facebook. You have to be willing to do that and actually my client wasn’t. They thought – this is just getting too invasive. I have the ability in the ads role to run ads for my clients, but then it’s up to my client if they are also going to go through that process to confirm their business. Not everybody wants to do that.

It depends on how much you want to run a social issue. Maybe you just really want to run Covid19 news or something else. Then this is the process that you go through.

That’s how you fix a rejected Facebook ad for that rule social issues elections or political ads.

I hope you found this helpful. If you did – give it a like. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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