It’s a pet peeve of mine when people complain about free stuff. Like, how it’s not good enough or it’s not plentiful enough, despite the fact that it’s free.
Take Facebook, for instance. Lots of folks complain about how the company makes money off of their personal information or there are too many ads in the margins. If you don’t like the free social media network, no one’s stopping you from take leave from the site.
But for those willing to put up with some of the petty grievances and play by the rules, Facebook can be a good thing. Especially when you have something to celebrate, like a pregnancy, birth, graduation, engagement or wedding, or you have sad news to impart, like about an illness or death. Having a group of friends at the ready to reach out and share monumental occasions can be worth abiding by a few rules.
A woman named Heather Walker used Facebook for just such a reason — when her baby Grayson was born and died eight hours later, she shared a few precious photos with her family and friends. But Facebook wouldn’t let her play along. They banned the photos, according to Radar Online.
Heather knew four months into her pregnancy that her son, Grayson James Walker had a rare disorder called Anencephaly, which prevents the brain from developing. She opted to keep the pregnancy knowing he’d only live for a few hours.
Grayson was born on Feb. 15 and a charity called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep donated the services of a professional photographer so Heather could have photos of her, Grayson’s dad, and Grayson, who was born “tragically deformed.”
Last week Heather posted the photos on her Facebook page, which is when Facebook deleted the photos and kicked her off the site for a day, citing “content” as the reason, according to Heather.
After her friends posted the deleted photos as their profile pictures as a show of support, Facebook allowed the photos on Heather’s page to stand — as long as they could only be seen by people she “friends.”
While Facebook is obviously entitled to make and enforce their own rules, it’s hard to see how pictures of a precious baby and his parents could be considered anything but tender and sad under the circumstances.
There are close to a billion people on Facebook, so clearly it’s hard to monitor what is and isn’t appropriate content. But considering the company is worth billions of dollars, they might consider hiring a few more people to avoid situations where they are further traumatizing people who have already been to hell and back. After all, if Facebook is causing the trauma instead of helping bring people together to heal it, what is the point in the end?
UPDATE: Earlier on Sunday, Facebook issued an apology to Greyson’s family, which was issued via Radar Online:
Upon investigation, we concluded the photo does not violate our guidelines and was removed in error. Facebook is a place where almost a billion people share more than 300 million photos a day. Our dedicated User Operations Team reviews millions of pieces of this content a day to help keep Facebook safe for all ages. Our policies are enforced by a team of reviewers in several offices across the globe. This team looks at hundreds of thousands of reports every week, and as you might expect, occasionally, we make a mistake and remove a piece of content we shouldn’t have. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
Photo credit: Our Sweet Boy Grayson James