Heather and Patrick Walker expressed outrage after Facebook removed photos of their son that was born with a birth defect and died when he was 8 hours old. Photo via Facebook
Outraged parents Heather and Patrick Walker are looking for answers from the social networking giant Facebook as to why they took down the pictures she posted of her son, Grayson James Walker, who was born February 15, 2012 with a rare birth defect, and why she her account was later suspended.
Baby Grayson, from Memphis, Tennessee, was born with anencephaly, a rare neural tube birth defect in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull. The parents, who knew at 16 weeks into the pregnancy of their third child, that their son would not live long after birth due to the birth defect.
“They of course gave us the option to terminate,” said Heather. But they chose to continue on with the pregnancy and turn to God for strength, reports the Daily Mail.
“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, reports the Daily Mail.
The couple mentally prepared themselves to say goodbye to their baby the day he was born, and contacted Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, a non-profit organization that takes professional photos of babies that pass away. Their son only lived for 8 hours, but they wanted to have pictures to share with family and capture his memory during his short life, reports the Daily Mail.
Heather told Fox News that she uploaded the pictures to Facebook so she could share them with her family and friends. In most pictures, baby Greyson was wearing a hat, but in some he was not.
Heather told Fox News, “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.”
Heather’s Facebook account was temporarily disabled after she repeatedly posted the removed image of her son without the hat on her profile, reports the Daily Mail.
Facebook’s community standards page says that 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 does not believe the photograph of her son falls into any of the offensive categories listed by Facebook.
“I see all kinds of stuff, women’s body parts, almost nudity, which is one of their standards, people cursing each other out, just profanity,” Heather told Fox News.
Heather says she hops that the photo of her son and what her family has gone through will help raise awareness.
As of today, Heather’s Facebook page is active again and the picture of Grayson which was deemed ‘graphic’ has not been removed.
In a statement obtained by the Daily Mail, a spokesman for Facebook denied that Heather was ever banned from the site, and said, “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,” said the Facebook spokesman, as reported by the Daily Mail.
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