On Sunday, February 13, rumors about a supposed ban on astrology content across Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok began coursing through social media. The gossip comes from a mixup about 2022 guidelines across platforms.
According to Insider, the conversation appears to have began when a TikTok user named Cosmic Drugz posted a video with the claim. She (along with other spiritualists) also claims her content is being suppressed because she has hundreds of thousands of followers, but one of her videos only had just over 800 views.
“This announcement was being sent out to the admins of Facebook,” she said to her audience of over 475,000. During a video, she posed in front a green screen featuring a screenshot breaking down the perceived changes being made. “We’re discontinuing certain detailed targeting options,” the page read. “These options have been highlighted for you to review…Replace or remove these options and publish the changes to make sure your ad set continues run on March 17, 2022.” “Astrology,” “horoscope,” and “tarot” were the highlighted options.
The video has 90,000+ views.
Multiple accounts across social media with varying degrees of reach (and some with verification checks) have spread this
Representatives from Meta (parent company for Facebook and Instagram) and TikTok have debunked the claims to Cosmopolitan. Meta says that the claim is a misinterpretation and that it removed choices that were “considered “redundant,” “too granular,” or ones that otherwise related to sensitive topics like sexual orientation, religion, and political causes. Sensitive terms like “Lung cancer awareness,” “LGBT culture,” and “Jewish holidays,” will also no longer be allowed to be used in targeted ads.
In November 2021, the announcement was made by Meta that beginning on January 17, 2022, these targeted paid ads in the above categories would no longer be permissible. However, all ads that had already been paid for would run until March 17, 2022. What we believe is being lost is that this would only impact online entities who are paying for ads, not all creators pushing out this kind of content.
TikTok has also said to Cosmopolitan that the word “astrology” is a booming hashtag on their platform, with over 32 billion views.