Why some onions were too sexy for Facebook
These onions were not marked as risqué
There are regular onions, and then there are onions too sexy for Facebook, a recently discovered Canadian seed and gardening business.
EW Gaze's Seed Company in St. John's, Newfoundland wanted to post a seemingly innocent advertisement for Walla Walla onion seeds on Facebook.
To their surprise, however, it was rejected as "overtly sexual".
In a statement on Wednesday, the social media company apologized for the flaw in its automatic technology.
The ad featured by Facebook featured Walla Walla onions, known for their size and sweet taste, piled in a wicker basket with some sliced onions on the side.
It took store manager Jackson McLean a moment to realize what the problem with the release was, he said.
Then he found out that "something about the round shapes" could indicate breasts or buttocks.
Knowing that his customers would find the rejection of ads amusing, he posted the photo on the company's page along with the automated Facebook warning message "Listings may not position products or services in a sexually suggestive way".
Cheers to the onion
Lost ring found on carrot 13 years later
Mr McLean said some customers posted pictures of potentially suggestive carrots and pumpkins in response.
He also appealed the decision to Facebook.
"We use automated technology to keep nudity out of our apps, but sometimes it doesn't know a Walla Walla onion from one, well, you know," Meg Sinclair, communications director for Facebook Canada, told the BBC.
"We restored the ad and apologize for the company's problems."
The company is in the process of digitizing all of its inventory to make online shopping more accessible amid the coronavirus pandemic, McLean said. That included promoting some ads like the onion on Facebook.
The Walla Walla onions, "an older variety of onion", were recently brought back to stock at customer request and are now selling fast because of their newfound notoriety, he said.
"We've sold more in the last three days than we had in the last five years," said McLean, adding that they are now also listed under "sexy onions" on the company's website.
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