Facebook Blocks Banana Art After Confusing With Sex Toy

This artist famous for his banana graffiti has had an advert rejected by Facebook after the social network mistook the phallic fruit for a sex toy.

German artist Thomas Baumgartel, 59, is known throughout the world for his banana graffiti and artwork, which feature in galleries in London, New York, Moscow and beyond.

Credit: CEN/@fancylittlepics
The gallery owner got a note that he could not advertise the banana book because Facebook thought it was a sex toy

When a gallery owner wanted to make a Facebook ad for Baumgartel’s latest book ‘Bananensprayer – Thomas Baumgartel 2008–2018’, he was stunned to discover that the ad had been pulled by Facebook for being too saucy.

Gallery owner Gerard Margaritis said: “I received multiple notifications from Facebook support that the ad could not be activated.”

The Facebook message which Margaritis received claimed that the banana on the book’s cover was a sex toy.

The message read: “We don’t allow ads that promote the sale of adult products or services. This includes ads that promote the sale of adult products such as sex toys.”

It also added that “ads like this are too sensitive in nature”.

Credit: CEN
Banana artist Thomas Baumgartel

However, Margaritis believes that Facebook’s artificial intelligence simply failed to recognise that the ad was for an art book.

He said: “I suspect a machine could not classify it properly.”

The ad was finally approved after several messages asking for a Facebook staff member to review it.

A Facebook spokesman said: “The ad was accidentally removed and is now back on Facebook. We informed the user about it.”


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Story By: Koen BerghuisSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News


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