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a group of oranges in a pile: Getty


© Getty
Getty

  • A Canadian garden center had its Facebook ad for onion seeds taken down by the platform on Monday.
  • Facebook said the ad was removed for breaking its rules on “products with overtly sexual positioning.”
  • Facebook’s head of comms in Canada said the post had been restored on Wednesday, and that it had been initially removed by the platform’s automated moderation systems.
  • “We use automated technology to keep nudity off our apps. But sometimes it doesn’t know a walla walla onion from a, well, you know.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook’s AI struggles to tell the difference between sexual pictures of the human body and globular vegetables.

A garden center in Newfoundland, Canada on Monday received a notice from Facebook about an ad it had uploaded for Walla Walla onion seeds that contained a photo of some onions.

Facebook’s notice said the ad broke its

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Why some onions were too sexy for Facebook

October 8, 2020 | technology | No Comments

These onions were not flagged as risqué
These onions were not flagged as risqué

There are regular onions, and then there are onions too sexy for Facebook, a Canadian seed and garden supply store recently discovered.

The Seed Company by EW Gaze, in St John’s, Newfoundland, had wanted to post a seemingly innocent advert for Walla Walla onion seeds on Facebook.

But to their surprise, it was rejected for being “overtly sexual”.

In a statement on Wednesday, the social media company apologised for the error made by its automatic technology.

The ad flagged by Facebook showed Walla Walla onions, known for their size and sweet flavour, piled in a wicker basket with some sliced onion on the side.

It took store manager Jackson McLean a moment to realise what the issue was with the posting, he said.

Then he figured out that “something about the round shapes” could be suggestive of breasts or buttocks.

He knew his

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