Facebook and charities sponsored ads.

maria Maria's Blog

Smile TrainI’m mad.

No, I’m offended. Like most of us I donate to some specific charities. I tend to pick the ones claiming to help children. I say claiming because you never know for sure where the money ends up. And that brings me to the reason I’m so upset. One of the charities is, SmileTrain.org  

Their mission is to travel to poor countries and help children born with cleft lip and/or palate. Imagine that; for a mere $250 you can give a child a new chance at life. So that’s where some of the money from my books went. I don’t like to talk about donations, it’s usually kept between myself and the tax people. Until now. Last December I sent a check. Not the first one, but somehow I must have triggered something because while I was used to their mail solicitations, these sponsored ads constantly showing up on my Facebook page are not acceptable.

The picture I posted is just one of them. And they tear me apart. Some days I avoid getting on Facebook all together because of the constant reminders that make me sad and depressed. So I sent an email asking the organization to stop. I mean, they pay for the ads. Is that where my money is going? To ads that ruin my day??

Here is the first reply I received:

 We are sorry to hear that our ads have caused any inconvenience. Unfortunately, we do not have control over the types of ads you are describing as these pop up according to your internet usage and are determined by an algorithm outside of our control.

You’ve got to love these folks…they have no control over the type of ads I’m describing…it’s all my fault.

So I asked them to remove my info from the donors list and just to make sure it doesn’t happen again I would pick some other charity to send money to.

Two days later I received a letter from a Tim. Unfortunately it ended up in the trash.

Tim, on behalf of Smile Train, apologized and promised the ads would stop ASAP. That was May 20th.

They keep on coming, and I keep on feeling sick and sad. Shame on them. I’m done sending them money, and I try not to think about those children or I’ll end up needing medical attention myself.

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  1. You need an ad blocker, such as AdBlock Plus (adblockplus.org). I avoided using an ad blocker for a long time because ads are what pay for the internet sites we browse for free but I eventually I got fed up with the increasing number of distracting animated ads, loud audio ads, distasteful ads (especially sex industry related) and ads that popup on my screen despite having a popup blocker in place or because the ads were positioned in such a way it was almost impossible to avoid mousing over the ad, causing a popup that blocks the site’s content and/or are hard to get rid of. If the internet advertising industry doesn’t want people blocking ads, then they need to clean up their act.

    While I realize that, as a writer, social media is pretty much essential for you, I personally will not use those sites because of the security risks they present, especially to one’s privacy.

    1. Jeannie, the ad only showed on my Facebook page, was directed at me only. After SmileTrain did nothing I contacted Facebook and they removed it permanently, plus, SmileTrain isn’t allowed to post ads on my page anymore. Yeah, I’m not much of Internet surfer, don’t have the time or the disposition, thanks for your comment.

  2. Maria, it drives me nuts, too. I went through a long involved procedure to ‘target the ads’ to my taste. I told them, only food, drink, music, & books. Sometimes they slip up, but if I click on’I don’t want to see postings of this type,’ it usually stops. Unfortunately, I click through food ads like they were precious gems though. I’m sure that’s not good for me either. :-)

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