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Facebook bans ads from conservative children's book publisher in 'error,' reverses decision after Fox Business report

Image source: Fox News screenshot

Meta, the parent company for Facebook, has reinstated the advertisement account of the conservative children's book publisher Heroes of Liberty after the company's communications director said the account was permanently suspended in "error."

Heroes of Liberty publishes illustrated children's books about historical figures who have "promoted freedom, faith, or family values, or lived a virtuous life of self-reliance, creativity, or devotion in light of those sacred principles." Their series features biographies on John Wayne, President Ronald Regan, Thomas Sowell, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and other prominent historical figures.

On Monday, Heroes of Liberty editor and board member Bethany Mandel said that Facebook "dealt a real blow" to the publisher by banning their ads just days before Christmas. Facebook on Dec. 23 had said their ads had violated the company's rules against "Low Quality or Disruptive Content" but did not provide specific details on how they did so.

After Heroes of Liberty appealed Facebook's decision, the company's content moderators rejected their appeal, writing in a message: "After a final review of this ad account, we confirmed it didn't comply with our Advertising Policies or other standards."

In a Twitter thread, Mandel explained that there were a number of negative comments from Facebook users on the Heroes of Liberty ads and suggested that these users may have reported the ads to Facebook.

After Fox Business published a report on Facebook's action against Heroes of Liberty, a spokesman for the company said the account had been suspended in error.

"I wanted to let you know that the ads account was disabled in error and has been restored," Meta spokesman Drew Pusateri told Fox Business on Monday.

But while Facebook responded to media inquiries, Mandel said Heroes of Liberty was never told their account was restored.

"They proactively reached out to several members of Congress and told them it was a mistake and we’re back online. Those offices told us," Mandel told Fox Business. "They didn't reach out to us."

Speaking to Fox News on Tuesday, Mandel said that Meta's unresponsiveness had left Heroes of Liberty in the dark.

"When they initially disabled us two-days before Christmas when we were sort of doing our big push to sell our books they never told us anything," Mandel said.

"We were kind of left hanging not knowing what to do and not knowing who to contact," she explained.

Mandel said that Heroes of Liberty was contacted by multiple U.S. congressman after the Fox Business report, which got the ball rolling on action from Meta.

"Fast-forward to late last night, they're telling Brit Hume on Twitter and Mary Katherine Ham on Twitter that we were reinstated. And they told multiple members of Congress that we were reinstated, but they never actually contacted us directly. We see our ad account is back enabled but we have no idea if we're on probation or if it was in fact an error," Mandel said.

She suggested that "woke people behind the screen at Facebook" listen to a vocal minority of left-wing Facebook users that report conservative content because they deem it offensive.

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