The custom card manufacturer Moonpig has warned customers ahead of Valentine’s Day to not upload images which are too risqué, adding that it is real people and not computer algorithms which have to sort through photos uploaded to the site.
In what The Guardian has jokingly described as what might be the world’s worst job, Mick Perry, Moonpig Production Manager, has explained the company receives an annual influx of ‘nudes and amateur erotica’ ahead of 14 February, which real people have to approve.
The company said nudity is not banned by their service, but ‘it’s more actions and contraptions that are monitored.’
To be clear, they added: ‘Penetration is when things have gone too far’.
Last year, Mick Perry’s team had to cancel 368 orders which they deemed were too explicit for them to print and send.
‘Most of our customers are well-behaved, but the odd one does try to push the boundaries,’ Perry told The Guardian. ‘We have people who are particularly adept at spotting racy images.’
Perry was reluctant to give specific examples of cards which have been cancelled because the company takes the privacy of its customers, including their sensitive photos, very seriously.
‘We do see all sorts, I’m not going to be specific – these are people’s memories – but let’s say there are things I wouldn’t want my wife or mum to see,’ he said.
Perry added he believed people would be embarrassed to take these sort of photos to high street shops who offer a similar service, and pins people’s more risqué submissions to the seeming facelessness of the online service.
‘I think some people believe their greeting cards are manufactured without human intervention,’ Perry said. However, unlike tech giants such as Facebook or Twitter, the company does not use algorithms, and real people make decisions about what is appropriate.
Regardless of whether or not an order is cancelled, any photos sent to Moonpig are kept in secure cloud storage for 30 days before being deleted.
Perry did add, however, that ‘if it makes you and your loved one happy, it can’t be that bad, can it?’
So if you’re thinking about getting a naughty last minute card for a loved one this Thursday, have some discretion, and spare a thought for the staff that have to approve it, who I can only imagine are thankful that they don’t sell pop-up cards.