Calgary

Weapon or kitchen tool? Facebook's choppy ad policy confuses Calgary knife shop

The Calgary owner of an artisan kitchen knife company is scratching his head over why Facebook keeps cutting his ads on its website.

‘The only thing we’re dangerous to is tomatoes,’ says Knifewear owner Kevin Kent

The social media company said Knifewear's posts promoted the sale of dangerous weapons and ammunitions. 0:30

The Calgary owner of an artisan kitchen knife company is scratching his head over why Facebook keeps cutting his ads on its website.

Kevin Kent, CEO of Knifewear Group, owns five Knifewear shops in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Ottawa that sell Japanese culinary knives.

"Facebook is great. We built a really good community there, but they banned us recently from advertising because they said we sold weapons and ammunition," Kent says. "We sell kitchen knives. The only thing we're dangerous to is tomatoes."

Kevin Kent, CEO of Knifewear Group, has been banned from advertising on Facebook because the website says he's selling weapons and ammunition. (Mike Symington/CBC)

The first time the company was banned, Kent says they immediately appealed the ban through Facebook. A few days later, the ban was overturned.

Thinking they were safe, the company tried to advertise a few days later. They were banned again and appealed again, but this time they were told the ban stood.

"We were surprised by that," Kent says. About two weeks later, he turned to Twitter and started complaining.

"Within an hour of me complaining on Twitter we were exonerated, so we're advertising on Facebook again," Kent says.

Kent says it's been difficult to get in touch with a person at Facebook to help.

Facebook told CBC News on Wednesday it was still looking into the case and on Thursday a company spokesman said the ads were removed in error.

"Our team processes millions of advertisements and we sometimes make mistakes," the spokesman said in an email.

"We've reinstated the ads that did not violate our policies and we apologize for the error."