Charlie Beswick, mom of a boy with Goldenhar syndrome, recently faced Instagram deleting a photo of her son after the user’s reports. One of her twin boys, Harry, was born with this rare disorder, so he has no left eye, eye socket, nostril or left ear. He has a prosthetic eye, but when Charlie posted a photo without it – Instagram took it down two days later.
Reportedly, an anonymous user reported the photo to Instagram’s content moderation team. Even though it doesn’t violate any rules – the photo was deleted.
As expected, Charlie was furious with the social network. She tweeted about her problem and got retweeted over 117,000 times. In return to the user who reported the photo, multiple people reached to Instagram to bring the photo back. And so they did. But the mom claims this wasn’t the first time one of her photos was taken down. Also, she says she hasn’t received any apology or explanation from Instagram after they restored the photo.
— Charlie Beswick (@ouralteredlife) September 12, 2017
On a daily basis, Charlie faces all kinds of negative comments and trolling on her account. As she tells Fox News, there are many heartless and rude comments and abuse. While she says the positive and supportive comments still outnumber the negative ones, I imagine it’s still hard to deal with the abuse. Sadly, it’s one of the things people are the most creative at.
Charlie’s son Harry doesn’t only suffer from Goldenhar syndrome, but also from autism and global learning delay. He also has a 3-minute-older brother, who is his greatest protector. Charlie posts stories about their life on her blog, Twitter and Instagram to encourage and inspire other families dealing with the same problems. On the retrieved Instagram photo, she wrote:
Note to the person who reported the last image of my son like this. It’s his FACE. If you’re offended then scroll past. Shame on you!
As Fox News writes, Instagram has apologized to Charlie after all. Their spokeswoman said that they “mistakenly removed the photo, but quickly restored it as soon as the mistake was brought to [their] attention.” Still, this isn’t just about the apology and removing or not removing the photo. It’s about what caused the removing.
Instagram bans photos that depict nudity, celebrate organized crime or terrorism, or glorify self-injury. They also don’t allow bullying or harassment based on someone’s race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disabilities or diseases. So basically, they broke their own rules by removing the photo. First, they removed the photo that doesn’t violate Instagram’s policy. And second, they removed it because someone was, basically, offended by a boy with a disability.
Okay, Instagram has corrected their mistake after they noticed it. If they sent the apology, even better (we have contacted them to confirm it). But what really makes me angry is those people who find a photo of a 12-year-old boy offensive. To all of them who reported the photo or wrote hateful comments, I can say what Charlie said: shame on you!
[via Fox News]