Facebook has admitted to making an error after rejecting an ad for a patriotic song from a country band, an incident that became national news.
Wes Cook Band turned to Facebook to protest after the social media platform rejected the group’s request to pay to “boost” a video for an original song titled “I Stand for the Flag,” saying it contained political content.
“The whole message of the song is unity & patriotism,” the group posted under a screenshot of the rejected ad. “We believe Patriotism isn’t Political.”
As Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper reports, Facebook’s ad policy does not allow any ad that “exploits controversial political or social issues for commercial purposes.” The lyrics of “I Stand for the Flag” include the passage, “We’re all stitched together like the red, white and blue / May be a little different, but we’re all the same too.” The band argued that the message was being misinterpreted since it was intended to bring people together, not argue a single point of view.
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The situation turned out to be beneficial to the Wes Cook Band after news of the rejection went viral, attracting the notice of national news outlets including Fox News. The group appeared on Fox & Friends on Thursday (July 5) to discuss the controversy and perform “I Stand for the Flag,” and the matter also received coverage from Business Insider, as well as television stations all over the country.
The band also spoke to representatives from Facebook, who were able to resolve the matter after admitting the mistake.
“We’ve spoken to the Wes Cook band to explain we made an error here. We’re grateful for their patience as we work to improve our policies,” Facebook said in a statement.
In their own statement, the band said they were “very pleased” to have had a “productive dialogue” with Facebook regarding the ad policy, and expressed happiness with the outcome.
“We believe this is an excellent example of two sides communicating and finding common ground. In the same way, we sincerely hope the message in our song, ‘I Stand for the Flag,’ will inspire our fellow citizens to pursue productive, open and honest communication, especially involving the challenging topics of the day. If we can open our hearts to our fellow man, together we can create a healthier and more loving society.”
The video for “I Stand for the Flag” had earned more than 400,000 Facebook views by Friday, and the band thanked fans in a video message. Cook also tweeted that the band has “lots of appearances lining up for this week” in response to the impact of the song.
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