A furious mother is demanding answers from Facebook as to why they took down photographs she posted on the site of her son, who was born with a rare birth defect, and then later banned her from the site altogether.
Grayson James Walker, from Memphis, Tennessee, was born on February 15, 2012 with Anencephaly, a rare neural tube birth defect in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull.
His parents Heather and Patrick Walker knew 16 weeks into the pregnancy their son would not live very long due to his birth defect.
Faith: Heather and Patrick knew at 16 weeks their son would not live long but they decided to have him anyway so they and their other two children could share some precious moments with him
‘They of course gave us the option to terminate,’ Heather told WMCTV. But they chose to keep the baby and turned to God for strength.
‘My husband and I, we started prayer and we knew that God knew since the beginning of time that he had us for this,’ she said.
The couple were fully prepared to have to say goodbye to him on the same day they welcomed him into the world.
So, with the help of non-profit organization Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, they had a professional photographer take photos of their newborn, just the same way as they did with their other two children and what most parents around the world do.
He only lived for eight hours but the Walkers wanted to capture his short life so his memory could live on forever.
Heather explained to Fox News that she uploaded the pictures on to her Facebook page so she could share them with family and friends.
WHAT IS ANENCEPHALY?
Anencephaly is a disorder that results from a neural tube defect that occurs when the head end of the neural tube fails to close, usually between the 23rd and 26th day of pregnancy, resulting in the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp.
The remaining brain tissue is often exposed — not covered by bone or skin. Most babies with this genetic disorder do not survive birth, however there have been notable exceptions.
In most of the pictures, baby Grayson is wearing a hat. But in some, he was not.
Heather explained: ‘Not long after, Facebook deleted them because of the content. They allow people to post almost nude pictures of themselves, profanity, and so many other things but I’m not allowed to share a picture of God’s beautiful creation.’
After repeatedly putting the removed picture on her profile, her account was temporarily disabled.
According to Facebook’s community standards page, there are nine types of content that may be deemed offensive and removed: Violence and Threats, Self-Harm, Bullying and Harassment, Hate Speech, Graphic Violence, Nudity and Pornography, Identity and Privacy, Intellectual Property and Phishing and Spam
Heather said she has no idea which category the picture of her child without the hat falls under but has now launched a protest – posting the picture several times and getting her friends and family to contact Facebook.
Patrick Walker said of his son: ‘You know, my son lived almost eight hours, and he’s already done in eight hours what I could never do in a hundred lifetimes, and that’s awesome.’
As of today, Heather’s Facebook page is active again and the picture of Grayson which was deemed ‘graphic’ has not been removed.
A spokesman for Facebook denied that Heather was ever banned from the site, and said in a statement: ‘On rare occasions, a photo reported to us may be too graphic too be permitted on the site. In these cases, the person who posted the photo is contacted, and the photos are removed.
‘We strive to fit the needs of a diverse community while respecting everyone’s interest in sharing content that is important to them.
‘It is important to note that any photos that are removed – whether inappropriately or in accordance with our policies – are only done so after being brought to our attention by other Facebook users who report them as violations, and when such reports are subsequently reviewed by Facebook.’