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Facebook censors women’s health ads: Reports

Facebook censors women's health ads

Ground Report | New Delhi: Facebook censors women’s health; Facebook disproportionately blocks ads focused on women’s health, according to a report released Tuesday by the Center for Intimacy Justice and Origin, a nonprofit pelvic floor physical therapy startup.

Facebook censors women’s health ads

According to the report, which surveyed 60 companies over the past three years, Facebook rejected and censored ads submitted by all (100%) women’s health startups focused on menopause, pelvic pain, pregnancy, postpartum, menstrual health, fertility, and sexual well-being. both on the Facebook platform and on Instagram. Companies that were censored include VFit, Intimate Rose, and Genneve.

Roughly half of the businesses surveyed had their accounts suspended by Facebook at some point. Of all the companies surveyed for the report, 59 were founded and led by women, with one led by a non-binary person.

The study shows a disproportionate impact against women and women’s health conversations on Facebook platforms, said Jackie Rotman, founder and executive director of the Center for Intimacy Justice.

“We think this is a solvable problem,” she said. “We want Facebook to make this a priority. The adult policy needs to be completely revamped. It is being applied in ways that are discriminatory and harmful to women and people of various genders and other underrepresented groups.”

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“adult products” policy

The female founders whose ads were activated received a notice that they had violated Facebook’s “adult products” policy. According to Rotman, the most frequently flagged ads included words or phrases like “vagina” and “vaginal dryness.”

Still, according to the investigation, men’s sexual wellness brands that featured sexual innuendos from brands like Hims and Manscaped could be posted on Facebook platforms without penalty.

The disproportionate blocking of women’s health ads not only hurts brand visibility for female founders but makes it harder for them to explain their products to consumers, Rotman said. As a result, women and medical providers are unaware of products that might treat certain conditions.

“Right now, it’s arbitrary to say that a product is or isn’t allowed in a way that we think has a really sexist undertone and a lack of understanding about health,” said Jackie Rotman, founder of the nonprofit in an interview with the New York Times.

Facebook’s parent company responded with a statement saying, “We welcome ads for sexual wellness products, but we prohibit nudity and have specific rules about how these products can be marketed on our platform. We have provided details to advertisers about what types of products and descriptions we allow in ads.”

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