This St. John's seed company's onions are too sexy for Facebook

·1 min read
Eddy Kennedy/CBC
Eddy Kennedy/CBC

If you look at a photo of onions, you'll most likely just see onions. But Facebook apparently sees them differently, and has told a St. John's business its onions are too risqué for advertising on the site.

Jackson McLean, a manager at Gaze Seed Company, said the business was unable to advertise its walla walla onions on Facebook after the company told them the picture on the seed's packaging went against Facebook's advertising guidelines.

"We got notified the other day that it's an 'overtly sexual image' that they had to ban from the site," McLean said Monday. "I guess something about the two round shapes there could be misconstrued as boobs or something, nude in some way."

McLean said the business pays Facebook for advertising, and was preparing to advertise the onions in the spring. When he got the response back from the site, he said all he could do was laugh.

"I just thought it was funny," he said. "You'd have to have a pretty active imagination to look at that and get something sexual out of it.… 'Overtly sexual,' as in there's no way of mistaking it as not sexual."

McLean said the decision was most likely made by an algorithm used by Facebook. The company is appealing the "overtly sexual" designation.

"Hopefully an actual human gets to look at the photo to decide that it's not actually sexual at all," he said. "It's just onions."

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