Facebook considers onions too sexy to appear on social media

We all know that moderation is a key part of social media and that its absence could be very costly. Users should be allowed to post whatever they want, but in order to limit fake news, or anything that can harm susceptibility, moderation should be present, so that the same social networks are a pleasant place for all. And it is in this sense that the algorithms work.

One of the great advantages of automation is that it saves time and human resources. But unfortunately, this automation can sometimes go wrong. In fact, unless you have designed a perfect system (which never happens since perfection does not exist), you will always have mistakes and failures. And that’s precisely what the teams at The Seed Company in St John’s, Newfoundland recently experienced … too sexy onions on Facebook.

Personally, I like onions: caramelized, fried, raw, in sauce, in salad, in stew, etc., they add a special touch to a dish. But far from me to think that onions could ever be considered sexy. However, this is what Facebook’s moderation algorithms have decided. The social network declined an ad for the onions, arguing that the ad image was “sexually suggestive”. It was obviously a mistake. A glaring error in the automatic algorithms in force on the social network platform. According to store manager Jackson McLean, it could have something to do with the rounded shape, the smoothness of the features, and perhaps even the color of the onions, parameters that would have led Facebook filters to see a breast, or buttocks. .

Facebook refuses the ad because it contains sexy onions

In a statement to the BBC, Facebook Canada’s communications director Meg Sinclair said:

“We use automated technology to keep nudity away from our apps, but sometimes they can’t tell an onion from a… you know what. We have reinstated the ad in question and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to the store. “

In fact, this isn’t the first time that Facebook has incorrectly identified the content of a post, ad, or group. It just shows that there is still a lot of work to be done to improve these filters and make them more and more precise.


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Founder of Noticias e Tecnologia, and this is his second online project, after several years connected to a portal focused on the Android system, of which he was also one of its founders.

IT professional and passionate about new technologies, mechanical sports and mountain biking.