Lisa Goodman-Helfand is a 40-year-old mother who wanted to publish a photo of herself and a 23-year-old blogger named Chanel White, side-by-side in an ad. However, the picture was denied by Facebook, as the social media network told Helfand: “Your ad wasn’t approved because it includes ‘before and after’ images, or other images showing unexpected or unlikely results. It’s also recommended that you avoid focusing on specific body parts, because these images typically receive high negative feedback.” Helfand and White both suffered from scleroderma, which is a debilitating disease that hardens and tightens the skin and connective tissues.
Helfand says that “the purpose of the ad is to illustrate the different ways people are impacted by this rare disease,” refuting that the photo she sent Facebook was not a “before and after” shot. Despite her attempt to clarify, including a request that the moderator take a moment to actually read her article, she was denied again, for the exact same reason. The website later messaged Helfand saying that her ad had been mistakenly rejected, and they apologized “for any inconvenience.”
After Facebook sent Helfand the apology, she was still denied to purchase another ad for her article on Facebook, with the same image, for the exact same reasons, again accusing her ad of showing “before and after” shots. Helfand was completely embarrassed by this situation, but says that she will turn the “humiliating experience … into something positive.” Facebook has yet to release a statement regarding the situation, but hopefully they will allow Helfand to free-willingly post photos for ads.