Specifically, I will be judging the set of options that comes up when the Facebook ad algorithm wants to know how it could have possibly failed you. We’ve all seen this:
You have removed this ad. Why didn’t you like it?
Is it just me, or does Facebook think I am deleting ads based on the merits of the ad and not on what it is, in fact, advertising? I don’t have anything against the ad, I just don’t want an online degree in theology! I’m not an expert on ads, I can barely remember what happens on Mad Men.
1. Uninteresting: Quite possibly the only option that is ever close to why I delete an ad. Again, though, the wording seems to apply to the ad and not to my personal interest in the product. While I may be uninterested in an ad, that doesn’t mean the ad itself is uninteresting. For example, I once got an ad that to the best of my memory read: “Deaf? Gay? Join FriskyHands.com!” Now, I am neither deaf nor gay, so I am not interested in that ad personally, but on its own merits it is a VERY interesting ad, and I would hate to penalize it. It’s as though this option is really for, I don’t know, an ad with a lot of block text and beige. But it is close enough for THREE STARS: * * *
2. Misleading: Seriously? In what situation is this option necessary? The ads are six words apiece, how much misleading is really possible? I won’t even know unless I click on the damn thing and discover the ad for cute kittens is really trying to get me to donate to the Green Party, and when I go back to Facebook the ad will be gone! Unless you have tabbed browsing, which I guess is everyone now, but whatever, this never happens. One star: *
3. Offensive: Facebook, aren’t you supposed to be screening these things for me? I’ve never seen an ad that even comes close to being offensive. Sometimes I pick this option when deleting religious ads, but my heart’s not really in it. Two stars: * *
4. Repetitive: When I first saw this option, I was super incredulous. How could an ad POSSIBLY be repetitive? And such a tiny ad! But, now that Facebook ads have been a part of my life for a while, I can see it. Not for a single ad, but for the latest in a string of ads for different companies that all want me to do the same depressing thing, like sell my eggs or buy my own engagement ring. They still all fall under “Uninteresting” though, so this only gets two stars: * *
5. Other: Oh, Other. Poor Other has to do ALL THE WORK in this list. If you (almost certainly) found the first four options insufficient, Other is there for you. Here’s the thing, though: If you select Other, a text box will pop up and Facebook will ask you to type in your reason. Fuck that! Facebook, the thing in my life that most understands how little effort or thought I want to put into ANYTHING, is asking me to think of an entire WORD? And then TYPE it? The second that text box comes up, I lose all interest in rejecting the ad. If Facebook had just come up with better, more appropriate options like “Pretentious” or “I’m Not Trying to Get Pregnant”, I wouldn’t be in this mess. Two stars: * *
Overall: Two stars! * *
Pretty damn weak, Facebook.