I just received this email from a former guest of SistersTalk Radio:
On Dec. 9, 2009, Belhue Press was informed that an ad for the book The Manly Art of Seduction by Perry Brass, after running for a week on FaceBook, had been “disapproved,” and that the site “will not allow the creation of any further FaceBook ads for this product. Ads for this service, product, or site should not be resubmitted.” During its run, the ad was seen for (approximately) 58,000 impressions. It received 183 “clicks” to the Amazon page selling The Manly Art of Seduction. The ad was specifically tailored to be seen by gay men and their friends, and during the creation of the ad, which FaceBook very quickly approved, the site informed Belhue Press that the target audience for the ad would be approximately “13,000 people”; in other words, the ad would not be placed in places where people outside a target audience might see it, although there was nothing in the ad that they deemed offensive at the time of the creation of the ad.
Our main feeling is either that the Christian Right has been screening FaceBook ads and targeting some for their disapproval and possible threats, or that the great, faceless bureaucracy running FaceBook somehow caught up with an ad for a book that it found offensive. The book cover shows nothing that might not be seen on thousands of book covers and hundreds of thousands of FaceBook pages. The copy for the ad, which has to be brief, states, simply: “Frustrated, scared of rejection, alone? The Manly Art of Seduction, a complete guide to emotional and sexual satisfaction with men.”
FaceBook, later, through one of its nameless spokespeople, told Perry Brass that the very word “seduction” set off alarms, and they could not allow any ad with the word “seduction” in it. This would mean that any movie (such as “Alien Seduction”; Lina Wermuller’s “The Seduction of Mimi”; “Anatomy of a Seduction,” a harmless 1979 TV movie; or “The Last Seduction,” a 1997 cult movie so bad it’s good) could never be advertised on FaceBook. Neither could books like The Art of Seduction, by Robert Greene, a primer for poets—in truth, there are hundreds of books with “Seduction” in the title—so what exactly is FaceBook so bothered by?
Why is FaceBook targeting a short book that is simply a guide for gay men who want emotional and sexual satisfaction with each other? If this book had been targeted for heterosexual men and women, there would have been no problems at all. If it had been targeted at dogs and cats, there would be have been no problems. But obviously FaceBook is offended by a book that was written openly to benefit gay men. In this age of gay marriage, of a huge corporate presence in the lives of gay men and lesbians, why is it so offensive to be this candid about something that thousands of gay men want, just like anyone else—emotional and sexual satisfaction? And, this also brings up the question, now that FaceBook has 57 million members all over the world, and many organizations are now using FaceBook as a major source of connecting with their own members and others, what else will FaceBook start banning?
For more information about the FaceBook banning of the The Manly Art of Seduction, please contact Perry Brass at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach him at the phone number: 718-884-6606
Listen to the interview we did with author Perry Brass in November on SistersTalk Radio.