SAN DIEGO — If you spent more time on your computer or smart device Monday online shopping, you weren’t alone. Cyber Monday is expected to break records this year.
But, some small businesses say they're potentially missing out on thousands of dollars worth of sales, and Facebook is to blame, because their online ads are getting blocked.
"It's been devastating to our business."
Kyla Darling and Cara Weaver run Tiny Trucker, a Temecula based company specializing in hats and apparel for moms, dads, and kids.
For months, their team has been preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, relying on paid Facebook ads to spread the word. Then, without warning, that momentum abruptly stopped after those ads started getting blocked.
"We built all the way up until the day before black Friday and then they shut us down and so we've lost thousands of dollars not only in ads, but our inventory because we were preparing," said Darling.
Turns out, small businesses nationwide have reported similar issues.
Sean Lake, co-founder of Encinitas based Bubs Naturals dealt with his ads being blocked back in September.
"We lost thousands and thousands of advertising impressions and all of a sudden we're not selling."
So, why is this happening?
Facebook algorithms designed to filter hate speech and misinformation, are also mistakenly blocking legitimate business ads.
Facebook released a statement to Bloomberg, apologizing, saying they "regularly work to improve our tools and systems and to make the support we offer easier to use and access."
In Tiny Trucker's case, they can't get a hold of anyone to help.
"I reached out to Mark Zuckerberg. I reached out to people on Twitter. I reached out to people on LinkedIn. Nobody is responding," said Darling.
By the time they do, it may be too late.
And that's the most frustrating part.
“We can't be in person for a lot of things we used to depend on so right now the virtual world with everybody is so key.”
"It's the most maddening experience of my life."
News 8 is going to "Shop Local" for all of December. If you have a favorite local business that you would like to see featured on News 8, please text us at 858-571-8888.
We will be featuring a different, local business each day on News 8 at 4 p.m. and 6 a.m., starting December 1.