Facebook rejected an ad campaign that referred to “juvenile boobies,” saying that its advertising guidelines prohibit “addressing the age, gender, or sexual orientation of users on Facebook.” While this may seem like a reasonable response by the social network, which has been under fire recently for having ads appear adjacent to objectionable content, the issue in this case is that juvenile boobies referred to young members of the Abbott’s Booby bird species.
The ad campaign was created by the Christmas Island Tourism Association to promote its annual Bird’n’Nature Week at the Australian bird-watching destination, according to Travel Daily News, and the phrase that caught Facebook’s attention was, “Some gorgeous shots here of some juvenile boobies.”
Christmas Island Tourism Association Marketing Manager Linda Cash told Travel Daily News:
We have a limited marketing budget, so our Facebook campaigns offer us a great opportunity to share the wonderful birdlife on our island. We presumed our original advert was blocked automatically, so we appealed to Facebook directly, who reaffirmed that the campaign was banned due to the sexual language — particularly the use of the word “boobies.”
And Sam Collins, founder of London based Ethos Travel, which claims to be the first agency in the U.K. to offer vacation packages to Christmas Island, told Travel Daily News:
Christmas Island tourism is in its infancy, but there are few places in the world where you can find such a magical concentration of rare species of sea and land animals. Bird Conservation Week is one of the best times to visit the island, and the economy there is becoming increasingly reliant on holiday makers from the U.K. and the rest of Europe. By blocking the tourist board’s campaign, one of the world’s great eco-tourism destinations is being deprived of its lifeline because someone at Facebook cannot comprehend that a Booby is a bird. Dare I say it, but with so many Boobies to see, it is like all your Christmases come at once.
Readers: Who is the boob here?