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'#DamnedWhores and #GodsPolice' - #Facebook Block #Book #Boosting

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'Boosting' is one of the most important aspects of Facebook promotion. Theoretically, with a little bit of financial investment, you can vastly improve the reach of any given post, since even if your page has thousands of likes racked up, your content almost certainly isn't reaching all of them consistently. The effectiveness of it is still somewhat up for debate, but evidently if you aren't careful, your post might not even make it that far, because of the swears.

This is what Australian writer Anne Summers (no relation) discovered when she tried to boost a post about the 40th anniversary of her classic feminist tome, Damned Whores and God's Police. Facebook blocked the post on the grounds that it contained profanity, but in the text body, rather than just the title of the book, they aren't that much of a soft touch. The book discusses the issues surrounding gender stereotyping in Australia, and was lauded as a powerful, provocative classic at the time of release.

The message Summers got back from Facebook when she tried to promote the post read as follows: “We don’t allow ads that use profanity. Such language can offend viewers and doesn’t reflect the product being advertised.”

The content of the post largely related to a conference celebrating the book's anniversary which Summers had been promoting on Facebook for a few weeks prior. She suspected that a quote from former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard which contained the word b**** was the cause. You can, on some level, understand why Facebook would have chosen to block the boost, since boosted posts can often reach beyond their original, intended audience, but it seems to me like a suggestion from them to change the wording would have sufficed. You can read the original post below, but if you don't want your eyes tarnished with the offending word, don't click 'see more'.


Dear FB friends.How do you solve a problem like this:Many years ago I wrote a book and gave it a provocative title....
Posted by Anne Summers on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The beautiful irony of this though is that whilst the original, boost-blocked post had a target reach of 15,000 people, the follow-up about the blocking itself has reached 500,000 and counting, it's also been reported on in publications as large as The Guardian and Mashable. Inadvertently, Facebook have done more to promote Summers' book and conference that she could have done by herself.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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'#DamnedWhores and #GodsPolice' - #Facebook Block #Book #Boosting Reviewed by Callum Davies on Saturday, August 29, 2015 Rating: 5
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