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The Heroes of Liberty series.

Facebook backtracks after banning publisher of conservative children’s books

A publisher of conservative children’s books once again can access and advertise on Facebook after a public outcry.

Heroes of Liberty offers biographies of such American heroes as President Ronald Reagan and economist Thomas Sowell to young readers and explores faith as well. On December 23, Facebook locked its account, preventing it from posting ads. When the publisher appealed the ruling, Facebook responded by claiming that because Heroes of Liberty didn’t “comply with [their] policy on Low Quality or Disruptive Content,” it was permanently disabling the account.

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One final appeal from the publisher brought this reply: “After a final review of this ad account, we confirmed it didn’t comply with our Advertising Policies or other standards. You can no longer advertise with this ad account and its ads and assets will remain disabled. This is our final decision.”

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Editor Bethany Mandel took to Twitter to share her disappointment with the ruling. “My new children’s book publishing company, @HeroesOfLiberty, was dealt a real blow going into the New Year when we were banned by Facebook,” she said on Monday, adding, “Our books are designed to inspire children. We invested much of our seed capital in building our brand on Facebook. When Facebook shut down our account, we lost all the data that we carefully gathered for the last six months. We can’t communicate with the audience that we built. Our ad account is permanently disabled. The consequences to our business could be devastating.”

Mandel also went on Fox Business, telling the cable news outlet, “We are not in politics; we are in the business of creating beautiful stories about great people that will entertain children and give them life lessons. To cancel children’s books because they celebrate American values that 90 percent of Americans believe in isn’t even anti-conservative bias, it’s anti-American. Pure madness.”

In reaction, high-profile figures such as Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, expressed disgust over Facebook’s treatment of the company. “When conservatives start independent publishing outlets and platforms, #BigTech companies like Facebook now work to destroy them,” he said, “This latest example is particularly galling.”

Former Babylon Bee writer Frank Fleming summed up the episode, saying, “So when they say ‘This is our final decision’ they mean ‘This is our final decision unless you can cause a large enough outcry to force us to review it again.’”

Anita Widaman | Metro Voice