WNY Gardeners, an unassuming gardening group, has become the latest “innocent” victim to fall pretty to the botched moderation of ubiquitous big tech social media giant Facebook as its sensitive algorithms have been riled up by the usage of the term “hoe,” among others.

Thus, Facebook’s censors have been flagging the word “hoe”, a basic gardening tool that has contributed a great deal to the survival and development of humanity since prehistoric times many thousands of years ago, in a crackdown on the gardening group from western New York.


The know-it-all algorithms of the world’s largest social media targeted the use of the tool that’s been around since the advent of agriculture apparently taking it to mean a disparaging term for women.

A hoe is a gardening tool, you nutjobs…

Unlike the offensive word, “hoe” the instrument is spelled with an “e” but that didn’t prevent the 7,500-member gardening group from being harassed by Facebook’s soulless, robotic censors for “violating community standards.”

All moderating hell broke loose on the poor western New York state gardeners when a post on preferred weeding tools ended up with a comment saying, “Push-pull hoe!”

That led to Facebook censorship to accuse the commenter of “harassment and bullying.”


Hopefully, at least the basic agricultural bladed instrument felt protected.

Elizabeth Licata, the author of the comment, told AP, as cited by The New York Post, that she tried to contact Facebook, but, the giant robotized soulless machine that it is, she asked rhetorically, “how do you do that?”

She tried teaching Facebook that a “hoe is a gardening tool”, and their group is about gardening and not bullying females.

The woman never received a response from the social network.

However, a representative of Facebook told the AP that the social media giant had corrected some of the censorship enforcements and that a real person will be checking posts when considering whether the gardening group is sanctioned or deleted.


Not the first case

Facebook was quoted as saying in an emailed statement that it plans to improve its customer support, and reveal to the public “even more information” on its moderation policies and their enforcement.

Regardless of that, however, the WNY Gardening group kept getting bullied by Facebook’s bots as it got automatically disabled over “possible violence” or “hate” in multiple comments.

Some of the problematic comments included telling pests such as Japanese beetles that they are “jerks” or calls to “kill them all” by drowning them “in soapy water.”

Facebook censorship has already had other “hoe” problems before.

Over the winter, it actually apologized to the residents of an area in the coastal city of Plymouth in the UK, Plymouth Hoe, whose posts were also censored.