Help Wanted – A Facebook Problem, A Confession and A Pollution Video

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.

–Rachel Carson

It was an idyllic summer when I was a 25-year-old free-spirit on a boat with a good friend exploring the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. We’d fish, find a sandy shoal to shuck fresh oysters and sink an anchor at twilight in a sheltered nook filled with emerald and navy shadows from the overhanging trees. The sky was blue porcelain; the ocean water wavered all around in gentle swishes, burbles, and undulations, in sparkling lines of ripples. There were the odd puffy clouds; the early morning mist ascending along the horizon; there was a primeval peace all was harmonious in our natural world.

What if a little water sprite with roots could personify the cycles that there is a beginning and ending to all living forces on land and on water?

At the same time, as I watched the interplay of wavelets, I was reading Rachel Carson’s book The Silent Spring. I tried to relate to her fears about polluting the environment and long-term effects on biological systems in a finite biosphere, sometimes irreversibly. Her words and the blue infinity all around stirred my consciousness to write a story from the point of view of water. What if a little water sprite with roots could personify the cycles that there is a beginning and ending to all living forces on land and on water? The twilight hours were long, and I wrote it, longhand, all 20 chapters; and then, in the bustle of making a living, I put it away for decades. This year, the manuscript was discovered as I rummaged around to find some memories to leave as a legacy for future generations. I read it again and realized the message still vibrated clearly that anything that affects one part of nature, will affect other parts, from the smallest to the largest. There was still joy, excitement, and mystery in the world we live in. It was critically important for children to connect to the normal patterns of life with all life-forms.

Microsoft Publisher simplified the process of putting together my e-book about a water sprite with roots with a unique affinity to talk with all lifeforms.  Now came the challenge to promote it with personal blogs and videos. Facebook was a natural channel because of keywords and worldwide demographics. They approved a few ads and then blocked an ad with the word pollution in the caption. Here’s what Facebook said about what prevented this ad from running:

“The text and/or imagery you’re using is about social issues, elections or politics, based on the definition we’re using for enforcement. However, your Page is not authorized to run these types of ads. You must authorize your Page to run social issue, electoral or political ads.”

My appeal stated that “I am a retired teacher with an important story to share with young people about how the water cycle is one of the main parts in understanding Earth’s ecology and protecting its ecosystems. The hero is a water sprite with roots who can communicate with other organisms and talk about their realities. I believe this is a very timely and educational story for all young people to read at a time when our environments are must be protected… Earth’s resources are finite.” But the case was closed. I checked the list of social issues that required authorization and disclaimers. For Canada, they included civil and social rights, economy, environmental politics, health, immigration, political values and governance, security and foreign policy.

Is there any issue here that is not subjected to control by some department or authority figure(s)? At what point can the word censorship prevail for individuals versus authorization by whom?

As monopolies and bureaucracies get bigger, as their intrinsic policies and administration kick in, at what point do they become too big to care about regular people with real concerns, not corporate agendas?

  • First, let me say my opinion that if you really care as a human being who cares, then you should have the right and resources to demonstrate the bigger message on a bigger scale that the worldwide internet provides.
  • Second, I confess I am not a professional internet marketer or social media personality. I am foremost a teacher who believes in the power of words, the stream of a story, the worth of a picture or diagram and the soul to love the only planet we call home. My e-book is homespun at every level.
  • Third, I wonder what your opinion might be about the YouTube video that Facebook would not approve without a complicated authority application ⤵︎

Strangely, they did run it for a few hours without scrutiny.  There were 162 people reached with 12 engagements where 9 people liked or shared it.

As a younger, stronger and capable woman, I would not think about asking for help, but as an older woman in a cyber world, I am asking for help to promote this video and story. If you think this video and message is important, please share with people with strong environmental values, societies or organizations who believe in preservation and conservation.

If there are any other ways I can promote this story online, I’d appreciate hearing comments and advice. I sincerely believe this story would make a wonderful movie about a superhero who really matters to the Earth’s survival.

As a last word, I think I understand why Facebook needs to be more transparent, to improve security settings, and control certain algorithms. I appreciate their opportunity to market and even recent improvement of privacy settings. But I also do not want to believe that any mega monopoly now, or in the future, can censor or control what is important to talk about when our planet’s survival may be more important than authoritarian approval.

Questions and comments and advice certainly welcome!

Excerpt:  My thoughts wander about the kind of ecology that humankind believes in, as I have witnessed. Do they get it that natural life begins with DNA in a nucleus, one-celled animals and plants, then species and then an ecosystem? Do they know that every small ecosystem is part of the total large biosphere on Earth that connects them all; water, air, food, resources, and shelter? Do they realize that perpetual growth, industry or destruction of any habitat is not sustainable on a limited planet?


Annemarie Berukoff
Annemarie Berukoff
I am a schoolteacher loving retirement in beautiful British Columbia: 3 mission statements: online marketing changes, helping teenagers and respecting ecology. I am proud to finally complete a new personal website with 3 missions: how to help internet marketers plug into new online marketing changes, how to help teenage girls to survive in a social media circus world, and how to teach children of all ages the value of ecosystems on our finite planet. It has taken 70 years to figure it out with two online business reports about marketing blunders to avoid and The Self-Franchise Report. Two e-books are available to download: Teen Girl Faces Time in the Sand and The Incredible Journey of a Water Sprite with Roots. My hobbies are people and nature.


  1. Annemarrie,

    Beautiful video. I’d slow down the text some since I couldn’t read most of it (marketing comment).

    I’m not quite clear on what you are asking. Sharing the video is one thing, but I didn’t see a sales page.

    Using these online marketing platforms (note: They are NOT social media platforms. They are marketing platforms where you put in our own information so they can target you with ads) is tricky for a number of reasons. Somewhat, because FB wants their users to be happy and stay online. Interestingly, Google and Youtube don’t seem to care too much. For some reason most of the attention is on FB.

    In the US, online marketing companies like FB are, effectively, being forced by the federal government to push out the censorship that the government isn’t allowed to do. End run around our constitution. My personal belief is that ANYTHING short of open, direct, immediate threats should be allowed. Otherwise someone has to choose what is “permissible” to share.

    So, not sure if you were interested in a discussion about the censorship, but that’s my 2 cents :D

    To do organic marketing, do things like this post. Post on marketing platforms (FB, LI, Youtube, etc). Do some blogging. find someone with an audience who would talk to you about this and promote it to their audience. Put it up on Amazon and eBay that are up front that they’re just marketing systems.

    I’m sure there are many other ideas out there for you that are free or low cost :D

    BTW: You got a few views because it went through automated verification, then for some reason a human looked at it and turned down the ad.

    • Thank you for your kind words re video…one of my first still improving with wordiness…teacher’s default. Yes, I’m certainly trying to do organic marketing with videos and blogs (14.9 K videos on Teen Girl e-book video boost in FB.) Will check out Amazon and eBay as book sellers. I know both messages are unique and timely; Earth’s cycles via water and teenage survival on Social Media. Sometimes I feel Search Engines are looking for common keywords versus words of challenge and change.