The GEM Debate:
Was Facebook Right To Remove These Pictures?
I usually try to keep things a bit lighter on the weekend but I came across this story and thought we needed to talk about it, even on the weekend. A Memphis couple if spitting mad at Facebook because it took down photos of their baby who was born with a rare birth defect, saying the photos did not conform to its standards.
Heather and Patrick Walker welcomed Grayson in mid-February and knew he would not live long. Grayson had a severe birth defect known as Anencephaly, a condition in which a baby is born without parts of a brain and skull. The Walkers knew about this since Heather’s 16th week of pregnancy but went through with it and the birth because they wanted their other children to experience a few hours with their brother before he died.
In those hours, they allowed a professional photographer to capture the tender moments as they bonded with Grayson and posted some of them on Facebook. Facebook responded by taking them down. Heather then re-posted them several more times prompting Facebook to ultimately ban her.
Before I go on, you should click here to see the photos and I will warn you, they are tough to look at.
I’m going to say something many of you might not agree with but so be it. Those photos of Grayson should not have been put on Facebook without a warning first. While I agree that Grayson is a life to be celebrated and he’s beautiful in the eyes of his parents, it was shocking to see a baby (as it would have been any person) with a protruding eye and exposed brain.
Here’s the other thing. Facebook lays out rules by which you agree to abide when using the site. In plain English, it’s their ball and their bat. Play by their rules or don’t play at all.
If the Walkers were so upset about not being allowed to post the photos, then they can close their Facebook accounts and go on with their lives. There are billions of people on this planet and only about 900 million of them are on Facebook. That means there are some enjoying a full and complete life without it.
Having said that, I think Facebook might want to re-examine some of what they DO allow through their filter as I’ve seen some pretty racy stuff on people’s pages.
God Bless the Walkers and their loss but for as tough as it was for them as parents, they had 34 weeks to read up on the condition and know what they were facing when Grayson was born. That’s not the case for those who may have stumbled upon the photos on a friend’s Facebook timeline.
That’s my take.. what about you? Was Facebook right to take down Grayson’s pictures? How about banning Heather? Do you think they photos could have stayed had they been placed there with a warning? And do you have concerns
about what does get through their filter?
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