Facebook gardening group repeatedly flagged for violating standards after discussing 'hoes'

Garden hoe in dirt
Garden hoe in dirt Photo credit Getty Images

A Facebook gardening group has been flagged multiple times for violating the social media platform's community standards for its often use of the term "hoe."

Of course, a hoe is one of gardening's oldest tools, but Facebook's algorithm flags the topic for "harassment and bullying," and keeps pulling posts from the group WNY Gardeners page.

Listen to your favorite News/Talk station now on Audacy

Its more than 7,500 members often discuss the long-handled bladed implement, which is spelled with an “e,” unlike the offensive term used for a woman, NY Post reports.

When one member commented “Push pull hoe!” on a post about weeding tools, Facebook sent a notification that read, “We reviewed this comment and found it goes against our standards for harassment and bullying,” a moderator said.

Elizabeth Licata told the outlet after one of their posts, "So I contacted Facebook, which was useless. How do you do that? You know, I said this is a gardening group, a hoe is gardening tool.”

Licata said she never received a response from Facebook, but a representative from the social media company said that some of the enforcements had been "corrected," and from now on, an actual person will check supposedly offensive posts in the future before the group is sanctioned or deleted.

“We have plans to build out better customer support for our products and to provide the public with even more information about our policies and how we enforce them,” Facebook said in an emailed statement.

Subsequent posts continued to get flagged for “possible violence, incitement, or hate in multiple comments,” Licata said. Comments in questions included, “Kill them all. Drown them in soapy water,” (referring to weeds) and “Japanese beetles are jerks.”

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram