Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich says he was trying to inform as many people as possible about the free 4th of July events in the town.
Facebook blocked more people from seeing posts about 4th of July fireworks in Greece.
Politics and Russia.
Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich says he was trying to inform as many people as possible about the free 4th of July events in the town. When he boosted the posts, he says Facebook blocked them because Facebook said they were political.
Reilich posted the events on his official supervisor Facebook page where he is listed as a "government official." When he tried to pay Facebook $90 to boost the posts, so more people could see them, he says Facebook said no.
Bill Reilich, Greece town supervisor: "The red line on each of these pages indicate that they've denied the boost. They won't allow it."
Reilich says the town challenged Facebook and then got an email reply.
Reilich read the reply to Messenger Post's news partner, News10NBC. "The texts or images you're using qualifies as 'political' based on the definition we're using for enforcement."
News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "You were able to post them and that wasn't the problem. The problem is when you wanted to boost them, is that correct?"
Reilich: "That's correct."
Brean: "So you could still post it. You just couldn't boost it."
Reilich: "Could still post it, but couldn't boost it which again, our intent to boost it to be seen by more people."
News10NBC reached out to Facebook Wednesday and asked them, "What makes the boosted posts political?"
Facebook has yet to provide an answer.
Reilich says Facebook wanted him to fill out a disclosure form about the holiday posts. He refused.
In April, Facebook changed its policy, making political advertisers identify themselves. It was a response to Russian-backed ads on Facebook leading up to the 2016 election.
Reilich: "I'm concerned that as we go forward if they classify everything that I want to post as political and deny it, I can't reach out to the community when we need to inform them of a situation."
Reilich says Facebook was the town's number one way he informed people about last year's wind storm and Lake Ontario flooding. He says he tried to boost the posts on the town's official page and Facebook denied one of them.
News10NBC contacted the supervisors of Irondequoit, Gates, Penfield and Brighton.
None of them said they've ever boosted a post on an official town or supervisor Facebook page or had boosted posts blocked by Facebook.