An advertisement for a new book about Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb was refused on Facebook, NRC reports Monday. The automatic advertising system may have thought it was a political advertisement. Political advertisements are not permitted on Facebook without a disclaimer.

Publisher De Bezige Bij submitted the advertisements, but received an automatic response from the company. It stated that the advertisements were rejected on the basis of content on "social issues, elections or politics".

The disapproval probably has to do with the Facebook advertising system. It is not allowed to post a political advertisement on Facebook without explicitly mentioning this.

The automatic system may have recognized the mayor on the cover of the book. Probably the system then thought it was a political advertisement. Facebook's guidelines state that an advertisement has a political character when it comes to "content created about a politician".

Facebook and De Bezige Bij have been in contact on Monday morning and the publisher must register to be able to place advertisements on these topics. The advertisement must then be resubmitted and approved.