Nine Line Apparel's 'Florida Strong' t-shirt ad flagged by Facebook's botched algorithm
FLORIDA: A retired US Army captain says he has hit a dead-end in trying to advertise his efforts in a bid to raise money for the Floridians affected by Hurricane Ian. Tyler Merritt, CEO of Savannah-based Nine Line Apparel says his patriotic attempt to push his clothing line to bring in cash for hurricane victims by selling a 'Florida Strong' t-shirt has been rejected by Facebook, he told Fox News.
Merritt believes there’s a “trend” of anything appearing to be “conservative” getting flagged by the social media giant. He says he finds it "horrible, especially now, we’re trying to come together and saying, 'Hey, let’s go help our friends in Florida.’” Merritt is no stranger to Facebook's suspect policies saying there is no individual he can reach out and most of the time there is no response.
“There is an algorithm out there that is targeting organizations like ours, in my opinion and there’s no individual that we can reach out to” to complain to,” distressed Merritt told Fox News. Merritt said his company has run similar altruistic initiatives to aid victims of natural disasters but instead his advertisements get flagged under the political scheme and when he tries to complain against the poor Facebook notions, his complaints are often unrecorded.
“They have you reach out to them and say, ‘Hey, would you please allow this advertising to go forward?’” he said. “It doesn’t actually make mention of any political individual initiative, but most of the time it falls on deaf ears, or we do not get responses.” He said that he and his team have reached out to Facebook and its parent company Meta to get a clearer answer about their policies but there's been no success.
Merritt and his colleagues have tried to contact “a human being at Meta for the last year, ever since we were flagged and banned from the platform because of advertisements that they deemed inappropriate five, six years ago.” Merritt who uses his Nine Line apparel line to raise money to help aid victims affected by catastrophic disasters says, “It seems that there is a trend that anything that is deemed conservative gets flagged, gets hindered and gets stopped."