News →

Facebook Flags Gardening Group For Violating Its Standards

WNY Gardeners in western New York has more than 7,500 members. The word "hoe" is what got them into trouble. Facebook's algorithms sometimes flag that word as "violating community standards."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit



Good morning. I'm A Martinez. Gardening groups on Facebook are pretty wholesome, a space to talk about all things plants. But WNY Gardeners, which has over 7,000 members, was flagged for violating standards. Someone asked the group about their most loved and indispensable weeding tool. One replied push-pull hoe, but AI didn't pick up on that meaning. Another offending comment - kill them all; drown them in soapy water. Tough to be a bug. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.