Facebook bans mom who posted pics of baby born with severe birth defects
Heather Walker's son Grayson James Walker was born with Anencephaly, a condition that means the baby was born without parts of his brain and skull. The very brave Walker chose to go through the whole pregnancy, despite knowing that there was a high possibility of her baby boy dying upon delivery.
Like any new mom, Walker took pictures of Grayson when he was born and posted them on Facebook for family and friends to see. Unfortunately, the social media site almost immediately banned her pictures.
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The Facebook rules for banning content include anything that constitutes: Violence and Threats, Self-Harm, Bullying and Harassment, Hate Speech, Graphic Violence, Nudity and Pornography, Identity and Privacy, Intellectual Property and Phishing and Spam.
The pictures were taken by a non-profit organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, which helps parents like Walker record the precious moments of what may be the only time they are able to hold their infants in their short lives. Grayson died only eight hours after he was born and these pictures were all the mother had to remember him by. So why did Facebook ban Walker's keepsakes if they weren't inappropriate?
According to the mother of two, the site simply banned the pictures she posted of Grayson without his hat on because of they found them to be "disturbing". Naturally, she was outraged because there are lots of other terrible graphic images on Facebook so she decided to protest with the help of friends and family. They all banded together to post the same pictures on their personal pages.
Walker said, "If you're my friend and you want to see the picture then look at it, but if you don't, just like any TV show or anything else you watch, if you don't want to see it you don't have to." Facebook responded with this apology to the mother:
"Upon investigation, we concluded the photo does not violate our guidelines and was removed in error. Facebook is a place where almost a billion people share more than 300 million photos a day. Our dedicated User Operations Team reviews millions of pieces of this content a day to help keep Facebook safe for all ages. Our policies are enforced by a team of reviewers in several offices across the globe. This team looks at hundreds of thousands of reports every week, and as you might expect, occasionally, we make a mistake and remove a piece of content we shouldn't have. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience."
I'm glad that Facebook finally came to their senses! It's ridiculous that I see so many inappropriate images on the site, but a mother can't post pictures of her ill newborn whom she only spent a few precious hours with—or even breastfeeding, but that's a whole other issue. This was Walkers only way of preserving a memory of her baby and memorializing him on the site! Maybe Facebook needs to reconsider their guidelines and focus more on getting rid of the smut being posted.
Image via Benefit for Grayson James Walker / Facebook
Do you think these pictures were offensive?