Facebook ad policy questions answered by former Facebook ad reviewer

Ben Matthews

By Ben Matthews


Reading Time: 4 minutes

We often get asked Facebook Policy questions by our clients and we often ask them ourselves when one of our ads gets rejected from the Facebook ad approval process.

We regularly review Facebook’s Ad Policies to make sure that our ads our compliant, but sometimes it can be a little confusing when it’s not clear why a particular ad gets rejected.

If you’ve ever experienced that same rejection with Facebook Ads, you probably would like some answers to your questions to help you get through the approval process.

Well, this Reddit thread is the answer to our desires, as a former Facebook reviewer took the time to answer Redditors’ questions about Facebook’s ad policies and the review process.

We’ve pulled the highlights from the question and answer session here, so hopefully your Facebook ad policy questions have been answered by the former Facebook ad reviewer.

Related: How to get authorisation to run political and social issue ads on Facebook and Instagram

Are we allowed words like “you” and “your” in ads, even when they don’t reference personal attributes? For example, “Do you create training videos to market your business?”

You actually CAN say “you” and “your”, but the problem is that the targeting on FB is so robust that the policy is designed to protect users from feeling like Facebook/Advertisers KNOW about THEM.

So when you say “Do you create training videos …” And they actually DO create training videos, people feel like they are being targeted. A commonly successful work-around is to say something like “IF you create training videos …”

Questions with “you” can definitely be approved, but it takes some trial and error in making them vague, because by nature questions are inherently personal. 9 times out of 10 just turning the same idea from a question to a sentence will get your ad approved.


Are all the reviews manual?

All appeals are manual. However, many ads are not manually reviewed initially. Facebook’s auto-flagging AI is constantly updated for images and keywords that are commonly associated with non-compliant ads. Many ads that pass through that automated system are published without a human review.


Does re-submitting with minimal changes give you a another chance by delivering the review to a different human?

Resubmitting with minimal changes may eliminate the auto-flagged content and usurp a human review altogether. However, that may also mean a less effective ad. So if you know that your ad is policy compliant–appeal that decision until someone can verify it’s compliance. Facebook reviewers are mostly contract workers. They’re all over the world, and although they’re highly trained they have a lot to do and varying familiarity with certain topics, not to mention motivation to do their best.


How many reviewers does Facebook employ?

I worked at one of the Austin campuses, and there were about 30 reviewers working at any given time of day. We were each queued to review about 300+ ads in an 8 hour shift (typically, that was a minimum). As long as you met your queue and and good QA scores, you could chat in the group chat, listen to podcasts / watch netflix to help offset the grind.


My website got flagged for “offensive content”. Do you have a work around?

Just because a business is in a certain vertical doesn’t make it immune to violating FB policy. I would have to see the ad and/or website to help you understand what may have gone wrong.

Facebook frequently cripples its own moneymaking ability by removing targeting tools/strategies from its advertisers. Their most valuable priority is the user experience. And that’s out of necessity, not benevolence. If people leave Facebook because the ads are overwhelming—there’s no one left to advertise to, bye bye business model.

Keep in mind that— like Google ads —policy governs the ad AND the landing page.

What’s the best solution/method you think we should do in case our accounts get banned or restricted?

There is a certain level you just can’t control. You can minimize risk (which you’re already doing), and have a Plan B ready. That Plan B should look operate on two fronts:

  1. Rebuild. Starting from scratch, rebuild with a new account, page, website, whatever is needed to get you able to publish again and duplicate your campaign strategy. Does the idea of doing that suck? Yes! Do you have any other choice? Nope. You don’t have to do it now. And maybe you never will. (it’s actually very likely you never will because you’re minimizing risk, but if planning for it helps you sleep at night—get a plan in place!)

  2. Appeal. Get the link handy for appealing a disabled account https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/2026068680760273 be polite, be clear demonstrating your familiarity with policy and your commitment to running compliant ads. And be persistent.

I’ve heard rumours that Facebook gives a user’s account a “score” that reflects how many ads are rejected due to policy violation and then weighs their serving of ads based off this score. Is there any truth to this?

Facebook is not PPC, it’s pay-per-impression. If 9 ads are rejected for policy and that 10th one is good to go, your dollars are clear to buy inventory.

That said, your ads “relevance” is scored and accounted for along with your bid to win auctions for impression delivery, so it is possible that your account may be weighted too. If you’re not happy with your results, there’s probably something in your control that can be done to improve them.

Why does Facebook reject ads with “too much text” while it’s not the case?

Text is auto-flagged. The system automatically scans images for what it thinks is text, superimposes them on a grid and flags anything over 20%.

Use the “Facebook Grid Tool” to scan your images before.

You can qualify for an exception for certain product types, like a computer game, so just know that it will always get flagged, but you can always appeal it.

Here’s a link to the text exemptions: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/980593475366490?id=1240182842783684


Can you provide insight as to why, during the appeal process for disapproved ads, the individual responsible for the manual review can’t give specifics as to why an ad was or wasn’t approved to the advertiser?

There are a few factors but mostly it boils down to time. Keep in mind that most reviewers have to meet a minimum of about 300 ads per shift, which a rate of about 30 seconds per ad.

As a reviewer identifies, or “tags” policy violations in an ad, the system automatically attaches a boiler plate statement explaining the violation to the advertiser.

These are admittedly vague. Most reviewers stay on the the right side of by just sticking to the boiler plate messages.


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