Facebook bans Nelson jeweller's ad for being 'sexually provocative' video

MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ

Halfdan Hansen of Jens Hansen Jewellers with a ring design that has been banned by facebook.

It's tempting to think computers are smarter than people, but sometimes algorithms aren't a match for common sense.

An advertisement for a ring evoking the spirit of Nelson has been banned by Facebook for being "sexually suggestive".

The ring, sold by Nelson jewellers Jens Hansen, is designed to reflect the geography of the Nelson Bays shoreline from Farewell Spit to the Marlborough Sounds.

A screen grab from Facebook which labels the Nelson ring as sexually suggestive or provocative.

A screen grab from Facebook which labels the Nelson ring as sexually suggestive or provocative.

Jeweller Halfdan Hansen said the offending ad had long been displayed on Facebook but that the social media site only banned it last week.

"I got the message on my mobile saying 'there's a problem with one of your ads'.

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The Nelson Ring is a competition-winning design based on the region's geography.
Facebook

The Nelson Ring is a competition-winning design based on the region's geography.

"When I went to my desktop it seemed to imply it looked like cleavage or something like that."

Facebook claimed the ad failed to meet its guidelines as it showed "excessive amounts of skin or suggestive content".

"I guess that's what happens when the computer does things for you," Hansen said.

"I'm sure if a human checked every post ... we wouldn't have run into that [problem]."

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He posted news of the ban on his company's Facebook page.

"Well we thought our Nelson Ring was modest and demure but apparently Facebook thinks its too 'hot' for public consumption," he wrote.

Hansen said he did not want to give Facebook the finger but he did not think the Nelson ring should be censored from Facebook.

Facebook's advertising policy states "ads may not promote pornography of any kind, whether artistic or commercial".

"Ads may not feature nudity, adult toys, adult products, or images of people participating in activities that are excessively suggestive or sexual in nature."

Sexual health products or services - contraceptives, lubricants and sexual health resources - are allowed provided they are targeted to people over the age of consent.

Hansen said he was now running a different version of the ad on Facebook without any issues.

 - Stuff

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