- Wes Cook Band/YouTube
- The country band Wes Cook Band was unable to pay for Facebook ads to promote its new song “I Stand for the Flag” after the music video was flagged as political content.
- The Nashville, Tennessee-based band said its song was patriotic and not political and accused Facebook’s algorithm of bias.
- Facebook reviewed the video and said it made an “error.”
Facebook has said it made an error after preventing the Nashville, Tennessee-based country band Wes Cook Band from advertising a new song because it was deemed political content.
The song, “I Stand for the Flag,” was released Monday, and the band was going to promote it with advertising on Facebook. But Facebook’s algorithm flagged the video as political content and rejected the request.
The band spent the days since protesting, saying “we believe patriotism is not political” on its Facebook page. The band’s members also told Fox News they thought Facebook’s algorithms were themselves politically biased.
“It has to do with a level of political bias we feel that Facebook has within their algorithms,” the band’s fiddle player, Nathan Stoops, told Fox News.
“You know those are the tools that they use to determine whether content fits within certain parameters on their site, and if those algorithms are programmed to reject content like ‘I Stand for the Flag,’ then I think that would give a lot of Americans the right to be offended by that level of bias within a company that purports itself to be politically neutral.”
On Friday morning, Facebook acknowledged that an “error” had occurred and said it was working to improve its policies.
— Facebook (@facebook) July 6, 2018
Facebook clarified to Business Insider why the video was blocked from being promoted.
“We recently announced anyone running ads about political or other major national issues must include a ‘paid for’ label,” a Facebook spokesman told Business Insider. “After looking again, we determined that this ad doesn’t need that label.”
The spokesman added: “While this is a new policy, and while we won’t ever be perfect, we think knowing who is behind an ad is important, and we’ll continue to work on improving as we roll it out.”
Wes Cook Band said it was happy to have entered into a dialogue with Facebook and hoped its song could inspire people to “pursue productive, open, and honest communication.”