Hilarious: Facebook's Nudity Algorithm Puts the Kibosh on a Seed Supplier's Onion Ad

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)


Are you terribly turned on by tomatoes? Do cantaloupes calamitously color you carnal?

If you’re unproudly pruriently prodded by produce, Facebook’s got your back — and front.

In an effort to keep sexually explicit images offline, the social network’s anti-nudity algorithm recently 86’d…onions.

So for all those who frequently lose the fleshly fight against salacious salad, chastity came out a champ.

For the company trying to sell Walla Walla onion seeds? It was a bit of an eye-burner.

Courtesy of the National Post:

Canada’s most sexually provocative onions were pulled down from Facebook after the social media giant told a produce company that its images went against advertising guidelines, the [Canada Broadcasting Corporation] reported.

FB’s since admitted the ad by Gaze Seed Company was mistakenly flagged by a rather perverse algorithm. Hence, the promotion will be ravishingly restored.

According to a notice sent to Gaze, Facebook blocked the bulbous Asian herbs because they were positioned in a “sexually suggestive manner.”

On Monday, Jackson McLean — a manager for the St. John’s, Newfoundland seed and soil supplier — marveled to CBC:

“We got notified the other day that it’s an ‘overtly sexual image’ that they had to ban from the site.”

He deems the designation dubious:

“You’d have to have a pretty active imagination to look at that and get something sexual out of it.”

Would you? Or did those onions know exactly what they were doing?

Here’s the ad:

Are onions overtly off-color?

How about these:


Jackson did admit, “I guess something about the two round shapes there could be misconstrued as boobs or something, nude in some way.”

Here’s more from the National Post:

McLean said the business pays Facebook for advertising, and was preparing to advertise the onions in the spring. When he got the response back from the site, he said all he could do was laugh.

McLean said the decision was most likely made by an algorithm used by Facebook. The company is appealing the “overtly sexual” designation.

Yep — he should…ap…peel.

Fortunately, despite being told vegetables are vixens, Jackson hasn’t lost hope for humanity:

“Hopefully an actual human gets to look at the photo to decide that it’s not actually sexual at all. It’s just onions.”

Right…or is it:

Here’s wishing Gaze Seed Company smooth social media sailing from now on — no more errant indictments of obscenity.

And for their sake, let’s hope the company doesn’t also sell seeds for cucumbers.



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