“Push pull hoe!” was the comment about a specific type of hoe that requires a push and pull to cut and pull weeds.
“We were all laughing,” Licata said of her fellow administrators of the Facebook page, Johanna Dominguez, who founded the group, and Kathy Shadrack.
And then one of the administrators posted a recommendation to one of the members: “Get a Japanese hand hoe…it works on this really well.”
Facebook flagged that comment, too. That’s when the administrators got worried that inappropriate comments by administrators of the group could be responsible for the removal of the group from Facebook.
Facebook uses algorithms and artificial intelligence to screen for objectionable posts, which is how the comments were identified.
“It’s an important group, they share their gardening successes, they share their failures,” Licata said.
The group has 7,800 members, and they go there for good advice and to share their love of gardening, Licata added.
“People get very passionate about gardening,” she said.
She tried contacting the social media giant to tell them that WNY Gardeners is a gardening group and a hoe is a gardening tool. First she got no response, then she got a long form to fill out, which she completed. Then she got more forms, but never got a response from a real person, she said.