Instagram removes picture of 12-yr-old with facial disfigurement, faces social media backlash | more lifestyle | Hindustan Times
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Instagram removes picture of 12-yr-old with facial disfigurement, faces social media backlash

A mother in England has attacked Instagram for removing a picture of her 12-year-old son, who was born with a facial deformity, after a user reported it to the photo-sharing application’s content moderation team.

more lifestyle Updated: Sep 15, 2017 16:28 IST
A mother in England has attacked Instagram for removing a picture of her 12-year-old son born with a facial deformity.
A mother in England has attacked Instagram for removing a picture of her 12-year-old son born with a facial deformity.(Our Altered Life Twitter )

A mother in England has attacked Instagram for removing a picture of her 12-year-old son, who was born with a facial deformity, after a user reported it to the photo-sharing application’s content moderation team.

Harry Beswick has the Goldenhar syndrome, which means his left eye, eye socket, nostril and left ear are not developed. He is autistic and suffers from global learning delay or his cognitive and physical development are much slower that of others.

Charlie, his 38-year-old mother, runs an Instagram account Our Altered Life chronicling the lives of her twin sons Harry and Oliver and sharing them with her 13,600 followers regularly.

She shared a picture of Harry without his prosthetic eye and it was taken down two days later after an anonymous user reported it to Instagram’s content moderation team.

Instagram’s community guidelines ban photos deemed ‘inappropriate for a diverse audience’ including those depicting nudity, celebrating organised crime or terrorism, or glorifying self-injury, or being serious threats to public and personal safety.

Her posts garnered thousands of reactions from people across social media. With over 117,053 retweets, people expressed outrage over Instagram’s decision, and the photo was restored.

“We mistakenly removed the photo but quickly restored it as soon as the mistake was brought to our attention. We have apologised to the family,” an Instagram spokesperson told the Daily Mail.

Charlie told the Mail she hasn’t received an apology from Instagram and that it not the first time her pictures were taken down.

“Instagram hasn’t apologised - they’ve restored the photograph but not explained why it was removed in the first place... Had they taken 30 seconds to look at the image they would see it was really well received and a high engagement post for them,” the report quoted her as saying.

In another post, Charlie expressed her distress at seeing that some people felt her son’s face didn’t meet the platform’s guidelines. “What do you see when you look at my boy? I see the most beautiful smile, wonderful heart & purest love,” she wrote.