Say what you will about Facebook. Whether you are on #teamFB=spawnofsatan or #teamicanlivewithoutoxygenbutnotwithoutfacebook, the social media giant has had a hold on our society (and lots of others) for years. Despite security breaches that have affected millions of users (and, of late, a democracy or two), the much-maligned behemoth is now facing a new kind of accusation: gender discrimination in advertising.
Facebook has no shortage of ads for products that treat erectile dysfunction. But those that feature menopausal symptom relief have been consistently blocked, according to start-ups such as Pulse, Genneve and Unbound, and OBGYN Anna Cabeca, in a recent CNBC article.
A Facebook employee told CNBC “Facebook has long had a policy that limits ads with adult content and adult products in part because we take into account the wide array of people from varying cultures and countries who see them. We continue to review these specific ads.”
So based upon that statement, you’d think that the ads employed words that are considered controversial in some circles. But one company was blocked for verbiage such as “hot flashes, headaches, crazy moods and no sleep”, while another “has had ads rejected for mentioning sexual health, lubricant or simply menopause.”
Really, Facebook? Erectile dysfunction is benign but sexual health is too risqué? Maybe we can just chalk this up to a case of good ol’ technical automation, but we think the “Blame the Algorithm” argument is getting a bit old. We absolutely support the men in our lives and want them to access whatever it is that they need to feel their best. And women deserve the very same.
It’s 2019, and women are STILL fighting for equality. C’mon, Facebook – own up and step up. Be a change agent for the greater good and support gender equality, small business economics and quality sexual health for all!