Is Facebook now accepting porn ads?

I was pretty shocked when I encountered an adult ad on my Facebook feed. How it got there, though, remains a mystery.

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Ever since Facebook went public (and publicly down the toilet, at least in terms of share price) it’s been rolling out new ways to make money. Want to promote your latest personal update? That’ll be $7 please. Want to promote a post on your fan page? That’ll run you $5 to $15 (and presumably much more if you have a lot of fans).

So when I logged on a week or so ago and saw the following Sponsored Ad in the upper right corner of my Facebook page I thought, “is Facebook now accepting adult ads? Really? They must getting desperate.”

Naturally, I had to explore further. And this is where it got strange. Clicking that semi-literate ad did not bring me to that blog, which does exist but appears to be an abandoned link farm with one very NSFW image on it. Instead, it opened up a new browser window featuring a “short controversial video” – which turned out to be a not-so-short, not especially controversial ad for a book/video tutorial called The Tao of Badass (TTOB).

TTOB is yet another in the seemingly endless series of how-to-pick-up-chicks books, this one penned by a scrawny dork named Josh Pellicer. The video goes on at some length – I gave up after about 15 minutes, so I can’t tell you how it ends – but offers tips like this one: If you stare at a woman’s lips while she is talking to you, she will find you irresistible.

(I’m married, and thus retired from the game, but if there are any single guys out there who want to try this out and let me know if that works, that would be great.)

Viewers of the video ad could buy TTOB for the low low price of only $67, plus 9 bonus products worth $2,394. Such a deal. TTOB has a generous affiliate program claiming commissions of up to 75 percent, so clearly this ad was the work of some aggressive affiliate with a less-than-firm grasp on the English language.

Two days later the same ad appeared on a different Facebook page. The next day another ad appeared using a different image, mangled English, and spoofed blog URL, but linking to the same video ad.

I thought, did Facebook change its ad policies to allow this kind of material? So I endeavored to find out. First, I created an ad for a porn site – I picked Sex.com at random, figuring I might as well be as obvious as possible. (Thus prompting my blog post about how much Sex.com resembles Pinterest – see, it was research after all.)

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