Ars Technica: Google Play bans video app for standard “.ass” subtitle support. “Yes, just listing standard video player features like support for the ‘ASS’ subtitle format was apparently enough to temporarily earn a suspension. The developer says they ‘immediately filed an appeal’ and today, the app is back up with the ASS subtitle listing still in the description.” ASS in this case stands for “Advanced Sub Station Alpha” and I really hope y’all get this newsletter after so many iterations of a Word The Robots Do Not Like.
BBC: Facebook apologises for Plymouth Hoe ‘error’. “Facebook has apologised for removing posts that named part of a city it deemed to contain an offensive word. Plymouth Hoe is a historic part of the Devon city’s seafront but the social media platform wrongly identified it as an offensive term.” A longtime problem for Facebook.
Thrillist: Facebook Rejected a Photo of Onions for Being ‘Overtly Sexual’. “Earlier this week, a Canadian store — known around St. John’s, Newfoundland as the Seed Company by EW Gaze — shared a perfectly innocent promotional photo of some Walla Walla onions (this is not a euphemism. They were really just onions). Facebook, however, did not agree and flagged the post for being… too sexy.”
Yahoo News: Facebook deems baker’s pie ‘too sexy’ for social media. “Wellington baker Niels Reinsborg started his business, Crafty Pies, to supply the baked treat to cafes, but when the coronavirus hit New Zealand shortly after he opened, he had to get creative and began offering his pies for sale on Facebook with contact-free delivery to homes. Business was booming and he was selling hundreds of pies each week until he posted an image of the Cypriot Shepherd’s Pie, filled with lean lamb cooked with fresh ginger, cumin and cinnamon…. The description and image was apparently flagged and deemed inappropriate. He received a Facebook message explaining the platform could not be used to sell ‘adult’ items, and his account was closed.”
Ubergizmo: Facebook’s Filters Tried To Censor The Mac G4 For Being ‘Overtly Sexual’. “Thanks to algorithms and filters, companies such as Facebook can manage content uploaded to its platform without necessarily needing human intervention. However, as with all things, it is not 100% accurate or reliable. In fact, recently there was a hilarious report of how Facebook’s filters had attempted to censor the photo of a Mac G4 computer for apparently being ‘overtly sexual’.”
BirminghamLive: Facebook bans tattooist’s nipple mastectomy photos. “A tattooist who offers life-like nipple reconstruction tattoos for women who have undergone mastectomies says photos of her work have been removed by Facebook. In a bid to spread the word as to what she can do to help others, Kerry [Irvine] has posted photographs of tattooed nipples on Facebook and Instagram. But she said some of the pictures were removed, her page has been suspended a number of times and she has been blocked out of her account for displaying sexual content.” Facebook has restored the account, but this is one more argument against Facebook policing its own content.
Boing Boing: Announcement of Tumblr’s sale to WordPress classified as pornography by Tumblr’s notorious “adult content” filter
Boing Boing: Announcement of Tumblr’s sale to WordPress classified as pornography by Tumblr’s notorious “adult content” filter. “The filter is a piece of unadulterated, unsalvageable garbage. Its awfulness is hard to overstate, but it can be neatly illustrated by this Bruce Sterling post, which reveals that the Tumblr porn filter blocked Sterling’s post of a screenshot of a news story about the acquisition, which includes the happy coda, ‘This decision cannot be appealed.’”
Rolling Stone: Why Did Instagram Confuse These Ads Featuring LGBTQ People for Escort Ads?. “On Tuesday, a thread from Salty, a newsletter and digital publication aimed at women, transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people, started circulating on Twitter. The thread called out Instagram for banning six ads featuring transgender and non-binary people of color. Instagram’s reasoning: the ads in question promoted escorting services, they said, a violation of the platform’s terms of service. There was just one problem with this argument — none of them were sex workers.”
The New Orleans Advocate: King cake baby too lewd for Facebook? Post violation for nudity leaves company ‘shocked’
The New Orleans Advocate: King cake baby too lewd for Facebook? Post violation for nudity leaves company ‘shocked’. “King Cake Snob is a competition run annually by Innovative Advertising, a Mandeville-based company, which ranks king cakes from across the region. As part of its usual marketing push, the group tried to post sponsored Facebook ads featuring tiny baby dolls, the totems traditionally found in the classic Carnival treat. But the sight of plastic babies wearing nothing but their birthday suits led Facebook to block the ads.”
Techdirt: Facebook Rejects GRIS Launch Trailer For Being Sexually Suggestive When It Clearly Is Not. “It should be well understood at this point that attempts by internet platforms to automagically do away with sexualized content on their sites via algorithms are… imperfect, if we want to be kind. The more accurate description is to say that these filters are so laughably horrible at actually filtering out objectionable content that they seem farcical. When, for instance, Tumblr can’t tell the difference between porn and pictures of Super Mario villains, and when Facebook can’t do likewise between porn and bronze statues or educational breast cancer images consisting of stick figures…well, it’s easy to see that there’s a problem.”