Facebook’s nudity-spotting AI mistook a photo of some onions for ‘sexually suggestive’ content



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.”
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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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