Watch: Facebook flags onion seed ad as ‘overtly sexual’

Oct. 7 (UPI) — Officials with a Canadian business said they were left surprised, confused and somewhat amused when Facebook refused to run an ad because a photo of onions was flagged as an “overtly sexual image.”

Jackson McLean, a manager at Gaze Seed Company in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, said the company submitted an ad to Facebook to promote its walla walla onions, but the submitted image was rejected by the social media network because the photo, which depicted only a group of onions, was deemed to be “overtly sexual.”

“We got notified the other day that it’s an ‘overtly sexual image’ that they had to ban from the site,” McLean told CBC News. “I guess something about the two round shapes there could be misconstrued as boobs or something, nude in some way.”

McLean said he had to laugh at what was apparently an error by Facebook’s anti-nudity algorithm.

“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.”

The company appealed the decision, and a Facebook Canada spokeswoman confirmed the ad’s rejection was an algorithm error.

“We use automated technology to keep nudity off our apps, but sometimes it doesn’t know a walla walla onion from a, well, you know,” the spokeswoman, Meg Sinclair, told The National Post. “We restored the ad and are sorry for the business’ trouble.”

Watch: Facebook flags onion seed ad as ‘overly sexual’

Oct. 7 (UPI) — Officials with a Canadian business said they were left surprised, confused and somewhat amused when Facebook refused to run an ad because a photo of onions was flagged as an “overtly sexual image.”

Jackson McLean, a manager at Gaze Seed Company in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, said the company submitted an ad to Facebook to promote its walla walla onions, but the submitted image was rejected by the social media network because the photo, which depicted only a group of onions, was deemed to be “overtly sexual.”

“We got notified the other day that it’s an ‘overtly sexual image’ that they had to ban from the site,” McLean told CBC News. “I guess something about the two round shapes there could be misconstrued as boobs or something, nude in some way.”

McLean said he had to laugh at what was apparently an error by Facebook’s anti-nudity algorithm.

“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.”

The company appealed the decision, and a Facebook Canada spokeswoman confirmed the ad’s rejection was an algorithm error.

“We use automated technology to keep nudity off our apps, but sometimes it doesn’t know a walla walla onion from a, well, you know,” the spokeswoman, Meg Sinclair, told The National Post. “We restored the ad and are sorry for the business’ trouble.”

Madrona leads $3.9M seed round for cybersecurity compliance startup Strike Graph

Strike Graph co-founders Justin Beals and Brian Bero. (Strike Graph Photo)

Seattle startup Strike Graph raised a $3.9 million seed round led by Madrona Venture Group.

The company, founded less than a year ago and spun out of Madrona Venture Labs, helps companies prepare for the cybersecurity certification process.

Most B2B organizations need to pass cybersecurity audits to ensure their service meets security and privacy standards. Strike Graph says its customers can earn a SOC 2 Type 1 certification in 45 days and save $50,000 in consultant fees thanks to automation and customization features.

The 5-person startup is led by CEO Justin Beals, a veteran of NextStep, Koru, Roundbox Global, and other startups, along with Brian Bero, who previously co-founded Seattle tech stalwart Apptio and recently sold security startup Greytwist to SmartRIA.

The idea for Strike Graph came about after Beals struggled with the SOC 2 process as the CTO of an AI startup getting through procurement. The biggest roadblock to closing deals was the security review process that could take anywhere from six months to two years with one client.

Beals said Strike Graph competes against legacy compliance platforms that have “empty databases” and require outside consultants.

“Some new entrants into the market are overly prescriptive and don’t allow companies flexibility in their security practices,” he added. “Our platform carefully threads the difference so that companies can efficiently adjust Strike Graph to meet their current cybersecurity practices.”

GeekWire previously reported on the company in May. It launched just as the COVID-19 pandemic began in the U.S., though Beals said demand for Strike Graph’s initial pilot offering was high.

“This team is going after a large and significantly growing opportunity to serve a sharp pain point for B2B businesses,” Madrona wrote in a blog post. “Strike Graph defines what we

Trym Closes $3.1M Seed Round to Advance Cannabis Cultivation Software and Accelerate Growth

7thirty Capital and Delta Emerald Ventures co-led the investment with participation from Welcan Capital, Arcview Collective Fund, and others

NOVATO, Calif., Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Trym, a pioneering cannabis cultivation software company, is pleased to announce the completion of its $3.1M seed funding round of financing. In addition to an initial friends and family of $1M, 7thirty Capital and Delta Emerald Ventures co-led the preferred round of $2.1M. Welcan Capital, Arcview Collective Fund, and others also participated in the oversubscribed round. The funding will enable Trym to make further software advancements and expand its trusted farm management platform into new markets.

(PRNewsfoto/Trym)
(PRNewsfoto/Trym)

“Our investors are a perfect match with Trym’s DNA,” said Matt Mayberry, CEO and co-founder, Trym. “They understand that connectivity is the future of cannabis agriculture and that to stay in the game, commercial cultivators have to closely track and manage all aspects of their business. A disruption is happening in the market and we’re helping to drive it.”

Trym currently operates in 14 U.S. states and works with more than 80 of the largest cultivators and multi-state operators in the country.

Intense competition in the cultivation supply chain pushes down on prices and forces operators to improve their production efficiency to stay competitive. Trym addresses the needs of scaling organizations and will use the capital to continue improving its cultivation-focused platform. The funds will also be deployed for strategic software integrations with complimentary supply chain software and hardware systems.  

“The growth opportunity in the cannabis cultivation software market is very exciting for us,” said Micah Tapman, Managing Partner at 7thirty Capital. “Trym is disrupting cannabis cultivation with a comprehensive software platform that streamlines business and connects the whole team for more efficient farm management.  We have watched Trym grow since 2019,