CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — A charity organization for disabled children said Facebook is refusing to publish its ad asking for volunteers because it's "discriminatory."
North Metro Miracle League in Cherokee County said it's been trying to appeal the decision for over a week but organizers said Facebook is digging in its heels. The organization, which helps get children with disabilities out on the baseball field -- wanted to post an ad asking for volunteer "buddies" to help protect the athletes and walk them out on the field.
The organization said the ad features a picture of a young boy in a wheelchair hitting a baseball off of a tee.
"It's frustrating and it's disheartening," said Rick Davies, who runs the organization. "All of the language we use is positive, it's reinforcing the values we believe in. And I cannot see anything that would cause an AI algorithm to flag it as discriminatory."
Davies said there's nothing negative about it, so he doesn't understand why Facebook won't allow the post online.
The ad read in part "We are in need of compassionate and energetic people willing to be buddies for our athletes which span from the age of 2 to 50+.
If you have a heart for volunteering and helping others we can guarantee that you will find your place at North Miracle League Cherokee."
Davies said they received the following response:
"It appears that your job post violates Job Policies, which prohibit discriminatory job posts. If you've read our policies and think your job post should be approved, you can appeal and we'll take another look. If you've read the policy and believe your post complies, submit a request for our team to review it."
After he inquired about it, telling Facebook the purpose of the post, he said he received another response:
"Hi Rick, Thanks for contacting us. We've reviewed your job and confirmed that it still violates the Facebook jobs terms. As a result, you job remains unpublished. Learn more about the the Facebook Jobs policies: https://www.facebook.com/policies/pages_groups_events/jobs_on_pages/ "
"We are a very small organization in Cherokee County and that's all we run by, is volunteers," he said. "So the more we can get out there, the more we can have kids on the field, and good times. It just benefits everyone in the program."
Allowing kids to be kids -- even just for a play or two -- really helps out local families who have children with disabilities, said Davies.
"We want to give parents a chance to just - even if it's just an hour a week - cheer on their child in the stands and be a normal parent," he said.
While Davies couldn't get anywhere with the company, 11Alive reached out. Facebook said it would investigate what is going on.
"AI is great and I understand the need for it - I work in tech," Davies said. "If it's something that's even questionable, give it to a person and let a person look at it. So they can know what it's about."