Facebook Reverses Course After Backlash for Permanently Locking Account of Conservative Children’s Book Publisher

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
January 4, 2022 Updated: January 18, 2022

Facebook has restored a children’s book publisher’s access to its ad account after the company claimed that it was permanently blocked from the social media platform.

Facebook told publishing company Heroes of Liberty that because of the “disruptive content” that it had posted, its account was permanently locked. But Andy Stone, a communications officer for Facebook parent company Meta, said on Jan. 3 that the ban was done in error.

“This should not have happened. It was an error and the ad account’s been restored,” Stone wrote on Twitter.

Heroes of Liberty focuses on books about historical and current figures who embody American values, including former President Ronald Reagan and Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Bethany Mandel, who founded the company, said it had invested considerably in Facebook even before officially launching.

“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 said on social media before the account was restored.

The ban was decried by a number of conservatives, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Fox News analyst Brit Hume, who drew the response from Stone.

“The books were about Ronald Reagan, Amy Coney Barrett, and Thomas Sowell. Facebook blocked ads for them claiming they violate a policy against ‘low-quality or disruptive’ content. What [expletive],” Hume wrote.

Mandel said on Jan. 4 that Facebook only told others that the account had been restored.

“Facebook informed several people and several members of Congress that we’ve been reinstated. They never actually told *us.* But our account looks restored, for now. We’d like to be reassured it was a mistake and that we can safely invest there,” she wrote on social media.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.