Home Weird Facebook mocked after it bans onion advert for being 'overtly sexual'

Facebook mocked after it bans onion advert for being 'overtly sexual'

staronline@reachplc.com (James Caven)

Facebook has been ridiculed after it banned an onion advert for being “overtly sexual”.

The social media giant blocked the post because its algorithm apparently mistook them for breasts.

A Canadian seed company had tried to promote its Walla Walla onion seeds on the site.

But it rejected the The Seed Company by EW Gaze’s ad because “products with overtly sexual positioning” are prohibited.

The notice added: “Listings may not position products or services in a sexually suggestive manner.”

The picture showed a bunch of onions piled in a wicker basket, with some sliced onion next to it.

The advert was deemed ‘overtly sexual’ by Facebook’s algorithm

Bemused store manager Jackson McLean, from St John’s, Newfoundland, said: “I guess something about the two round shapes there could be misconstrued as boobs or something, nude in some way.

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

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He says the onions are now selling fast because of their newfound fame – and are even listed under “sexy onions” on the website.

He shared a screenshot of the vegetables and rejection on Facebook, saying: “Just got notified by Facebook that the photo used for our Walla Walla Onion seed is “Overtly Sexual”… Can you see it?”

Although he asked the firm to review the ban he says he heard nothing back for days, according to the New York Post.

But Facebook later reversed its decision and blamed an algorithm mistake.

Meg Sinclair, Facebook Canada’s head of communications, told the BBC: “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.

“We restored the ad and are sorry for the business’s trouble.”

Social media users found the confusion hilarious, with one saying: “Brings a tear to my eye.”

One wrote: “I hope you will be a-peeling their judgement.”

Another added: “This is hilarious.

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“I somewhat have a vivid imagination and for the life of me all I see are onions. What am I missing?”

And one questioned whether science has “gone too far” and humans have taught “even the machines to be dirty”.

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