An error in Facebook’s automated system rejected a user’s picture of onions for being “overtly sexual.” The BBC reports: 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 apologized for the error made by its automated technology. It took store manager Jackson McLean a moment to realize 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 customers would find the ad rejection funny, and posted the photo, along with the automated Facebook message warning “listings may not position products or services in a sexually suggestive manner,” to the company page. Mr McLean said some clients have been posting images of potentially suggestive carrots and pumpkins in reply. He also appealed the decision to Facebook.
The Walla Walla onions, “an older onion variety,” had recently brought back in stock by customer request, and are now selling fast due to their newfound notoriety, he said. “We’ve sold more in the last three days than in the last five years,” said Mr McLean, adding they are also now listed under “sexy onions” on the company website.