Facebook removed an ad for onions for being “overtly sexual.” Then they restored the ad and fired an ad censor for being “overtly lonely.”
How I wrote it:
This news item got my attention because it raised the question in my mind “Who would think onions are sexual?” That is, the news item suggested that I consider using my Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic.
To answer that question, I thought about the topic handle “onions” and its associations like “round,” “smooth,” and “inanimate.” And based on those, I decided that the surprising answer to my question, and the basis of my punch line, would be “someone who’s really, really lonely.”
To make the joke as funny as possible, I used my Joke Maximizer #6–Make the punch line parallel. That is, I worded the punch line as “fired an ad censor for being “overtly lonely,” in order to echo as much as possible the wording in the topic “removed an ad for onions for being “overtly sexual.”
I also included in my angle the words “Then they restored the ad,” to make the joke easier to understand; my Joke Maximizer #4 is “Make everything clear.” Unless Facebook did an about-face and restored the ad, it wouldn’t be immediately obvious to the audience that whoever had removed the ad had committed a fireable offense.
Did a human ad censor, in fact, remove that onion ad? No, the news item says that “automated technology” did. But I decided that my audience wouldn’t know or care about that detail. Plus I needed a fireable human to make the joke work.