Facebook Finds Alopecia Areata Ugly

More specifically, according to Facebook Advertising, alopecia areata is “a state of health or body being extremely undesirable”.

Recently, I wrote a few blog posts about my alopecia areata flaring up again. Of course, Facebook is the biggest advertising platform you can use to share content. In this case, we aimed to make my story available to others with alopecia, including alopecia areata, alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis. The ad contained my photo.

Facebook Advertising Mobile Notification

ChrisByrnes.com - Facebook Finds Alopecia Areata Ugly (Mobile Notification)

Me, too ugly for Facebook? Facebook, the epitome of social media, where millions are members, where the platform shapes your business and your life, found mine too ugly to advertise. As if I needed an internet service to repeat back to me what society dispenses daily.

The clever lawyer could probably argue ‘hey, they’re only saying your balding head is too perfect for others to see’. They would also be full of crap. I dug a little deeper.

ChrisByrnes.com - Facebook Thinks Alopecia Areata is Ugly (Screenshot)

Appealing the Ad Disapproval

Surely, this was a mistake that could be swiftly reversed. I appealed.

ChrisByrnes.com - Facebook Thinks Alopecia Areata is Ugly (Appeal Response)

Interestingly, the link for their Health and Fitness Policy is broken. For some reason, I kindly pointed that out to them.

What an awful idea, that anyone, much less the target demographic for my advertisement – people with alopecia, would feel bad about themselves by viewing a photo of me.

Bad Moderation

This is now the second most disturbing occurrence I have had with Facebook.

I recall reporting a picture of a guy choking a baby. The baby was obviously dead, blue in the face, and the guy was laughing. Facebook closed my report and said there was nothing offensive about it.

But bald women are offensive.

My Facebook use has evolved. Like many of you, I am no longer addicted. But certain special groups provide love and support, particularly during an alopecia areata flare.

Facebook Advertising Discrimination By Automation?

I understand having some regulations, but who is the person that said my picture was ugly? Do they scan it with some special software or is it an actual person who makes the decision? Even if automated, humans developed and programmed it.

It just makes me wonder what else they reject from businesses or other blogs that are trying to inform their audience.

One thought on “Facebook Finds Alopecia Areata Ugly

  • August 4, 2017 at 7:42 am

    I get they need to filter certain things so people don’t feel targeted for their disability or condition but alopecia areata is NOT IN THAT CATEGORY. Also is it because you’re a woman? I see bald headed men on Facebook sponsored posts all the time.


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