Incident 282: Facebook’s Algorithm Mistook an Advertisement of Onions as Sexual Suggestive Content

Description: Facebook’s content moderation algorithm misidentified and removed a Canadian business’s advertisement containing a photo of onions as products of overtly sexual content, which was later reinstated after review.


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Alleged: Facebook developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed The Seed Company by E.W. Gaze and businesses on Facebook.

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Khoa Lam
Nudity algorithm wrongly blocked company's onion images, Facebook admits, says adverts will be restored · 2020

Canada’s most sexually provocative onions were pulled down from Facebook after the social media giant told a produce company that its images went against advertising guidelines, the CBC reported.

Now, Facebook has admitted the ad was picked…

Too Sexy! Facebook’s AI Mistakes Ad for Onions As Nude Content, Blocks for Being ‘Overtly Sexual’ · 2020

Are onions naked or clothed in their natural form? Facebook's Artificial Intelligence (AI) seems to be having an issue telling the difference between pictures with sexual connotations referring to the human body and vegetables that are just…

Facebook's nudity-spotting AI mistook a photo of some onions for 'sexually suggestive' content · 2020

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 …


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

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