Blocked: Wounded Police Ad Too 'Shocking' and 'Violent' for Facebook
On Wednesday, Facebook blocked the nonprofit group The Wounded Blue from running a video ad on the social media platform. The ad did not contain any violence, but it did show disabled and injured police officers who need help. Facebook said the ad was too "shocking" or "violent" for the platform.
"The grave injustices to our law enforcement officers exposed in our film at The Wounded Blue are now being compounded by Facebook’s apparent anti-law enforcement bias. Protecting America’s injured and disabled officers shouldn’t be a political issue," retired police lieutenant Randy Sutton, founder and CEO of The Wounded Blue, told PJ Media on Thursday.
"The message of The Wounded Blue is one that all Americans can embrace: compassion, empathy, and assistance for officers who have sacrificed for their communities," Sutton added. "Yet Facebook objects to showing the reality of their injuries and their abandonment in the name of 'values'? I can’t think of anything more hypocritical."
Indeed, Facebook did mention its "core value" in the statement blocking the ad.
"This ad isn't running because it uses an image or video that contains shocking, sensational, or excessively violent content," Facebook said in a message blocking the ad. "This type of material creates an unexpected experience for users, and goes against our core value of fostering a positive global community."
As of Thursday afternoon, the ad was still blocked on Facebook, Jen Kerns told PJ Media. She suggested Facebook banned the ad due to bias against conservatives and the Blue Lives Matter movement.
The ad does not display any violence. Instead, it lays out the reason for The Wounded Blue, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit.
"Imagine an officer being shot, stabbed, or beaten in the line of duty, suffering grave or disabling injuries, and not receiving adequate medical treatment or not having their medical bills paid at all," Sutton says in the video. "Imagine that same officer being told their pay is dramatically cut or not getting paid at all after they are injured or disabled."
"Impossible, Right? Wrong," Sutton declares. "As thousands of officers who have been injured and or disabled while serving their communities are being abandoned by the very same cities, towns, and agencies they’ve sacrificed so much for."
The ad shows pictures of police officers slowly recovering after grievous wounds. Then it tells the story of a police lieutenant with a wife and three children who was shot in the head. "His medical bills, they went unpaid for more than a year and a half until a court ordered the city to pay them," Sutton explains. Even after the court victory, the father is only getting paid $375 per week.
The ad is not violent, it does not condone or advocate violence, and it calls on people to give money to help police recovering from grave injuries.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.