Facebook Accused Mother of Hate Speech for Posting Pics of Her Special Needs Son

special olympics, facebook, facebook photo policy, facebook photos down syndrome, mocking kids with down syndrome

Special Olympics

File this one in the OH BOY category: Facebook locked the account of North Carolina mother Diana Cornwell after she posted pictures of her 7-year-old son with Down Syndrome at a Special Olympics event, because they thought the photos were mocking people with special needs. Facebook may be especially sensitive about these issues right now, considering that they received some flack for ignoring the repeated requests of Britain’s Liz Crowter to remove photos of her daughter, Heidi, a 16-year-old with Down’s who was in fact being mocked on the site.

TIME reports, “For three days, Diana Cornwell couldn’t get back onto Facebook and couldn’t get an answer as to how photos from the Special Olympics could get her banished from the network. And even though she’s back on now, Cornwell is still unhappy with how Facebook handled the situation and wants to see changes in how they flag photos.” Cornwell says Facebook has “not apologized nor have they explained. They sent me a generic message saying it was a computer error.” When TIME reporter Mitch Lipka reached out to the social networking site for further explanation, he was told, “The photo was taken down in error. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and we hope she’ll repost the photo and continue to share her son’s experience at the Special Olympics on Facebook.”

In exchange for her inconvenience, Cornwall is now asking Facebook to sponsor next year’s Davidson County Special Olympics. Ha! Good for you, Diana Cornwell! Though I imagine getting Facebook to sponsor your local Special Olympics is going to be more difficult than getting spammers to stop tagging you in photos of shoes.

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