St. Louis, MO - Facebook has started covering up some pro-police ads and is suggesting that people report them for being offensive.
Joseph Murphy, the President of patriotic apparel company Warrior 12, said that the change was immediately obvious to him due to the flood of complaints from customers.
Disclosure: Warrior 12 sells all official Blue Lives Matter shirts and gear and 100% of the proceeds go to help fund Blue Lives Matter.
Murphy said that Warrior 12 just launched their Blessed Are The Peacemakers shirt on Friday so that people could show support for law enforcement.
He said that after they started up a Facebook ad for the shirt, they started getting complaints immediately.
"People started sending in screenshots showing that Facebook was covering up our ad," Murphy said. "The content of our ad was left unreadable because it was covered up with a notice telling people to report it if it was offensive."
A copy of the notice provided to Blue Lives Matter says, "If you think an ad is inappropriate or offensive, please take the time to report it. Your report is only visible to Facebook."
The majority of comments on the Facebook post for the shirt are complaints about Facebook marking it as potentially offensive.
"They are charging Warrior 12 to run this ad, and then they aren't actually showing it to people," Murphy said. "We're paying them to tell people to report us for being offensive. I'd love not to use Facebook, but there's really no other viable alternative."
Murphy started Warrior 12 while working as a police officer in Maryland and has made giving back to law enforcement part of the brand. In 2018, Warrior 12 gave back over $77,000 to law enforcement causes, funding everything from K9 programs to helping the families of fallen officers.
"One of the most important things we can do for our law enforcement officers is to show our support," Murphy said. "With constant attacks on police in the media, it seems like the whole world is against them. They need to know that Americans support them, and now Facebook is pushing a different message."
Facebook has not offered any explanation for the change in their advertising.