UPDATED: Facebook Bans Mother Over Photos of Baby With Rare Birth Defect

Update, May 21, 3:20pm EST. Facebook has admitted that it made an error in deleting the photos of Grayson Walker, who was born with a rare birth defect.

Facebook has done it again and I don’t mean buying up start-ups to enhance its profile of mobile offerings, facing lawsuits about infringements or privacy or added X million more users on its way to total internet domination. In April, Facebook told a mother to remove photos of her 7-year-old son, Cole, who has Down Syndrome. Then, earlier this year, Facebook banned another mother for posting photos of her newborn son Grayson, who was born with anencephaly, a rare neural tube defect that results in a baby being born without parts of his brain and skull.

As reported by Fox News, Grayson James Walker was born on February 15 in Memphis, Tennessee, and lived for only eight hours. His parents, Heather and Patrick Walker, had known when he was 18 weeks old that he would not live long and had chosen to carry the baby to full term, says the Daily Mail. With the help of a non-profit organization, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, they had a professional photographer take photos of Grayson as they “wanted to capture his short life so his memory could live on forever.”

Heather Walker uploaded the photos to Facebook to share with family and friends and then, as she 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.

Walker attempt to repost the photos and asked her friends and family to contact Facebook, after which she was banned from the social media site, notes Gizmodo.

According to its community standards page, Facebook considers the following nine types of content objectionable and reserves the right to remove such: Violence and Threats, Self-Harm, Bullying and Harassment, Hate Speech, Graphic Violence, Nudity and Pornography, Identity and Privacy, Intellectual Property and Phishing and Spam.

Photos of a newborn fall under one of categories?

Given the uproar after Facebook flagged photos of 7-year-old Cole and told his mother, Diana Cornwell, that she had “violated” its policies, you would have hoped that Facebook would have learned that photos of children with disabilities do not fall under the category of “objectionable” content. In point of fact, parents of children with disabilities like Heather Cornwell, Heather Walker and myself rely heavily on social media sites and the internet to stay in contact with family and friends and to spread the word that our kids, while different, are beautiful, do amazing things and make our lives and the world richer and simply better.

Now that Facebook is a publicly traded company, all eyes are truly on it — and more than a few of us are finding much that we really “unlike.”


Related Care2 Coverage

UPDATED Facebook Told Mother: Remove Photos of Down Syndrome Child

Student With Down Syndrome Just Wants To Play With His Team

5 Things To Know About Facebook (Slideshow)


Photo by Markus Reinhardt


Sheila M.
Sheila M5 years ago

This is just wrong! Facebook has no right/place telling any parent their child is "too ugly/deformed" to place their very loved child's photo on their own home page. I am a retired nurse and worked long before abortion as well as genetic testing. Part of my student training was at a State Hospital filled with children with multiple anomalies. Most were nonverbal and needed a lot of care, however the one thing they all had in common was they were children who wanted and needed love.

Breanna R.
Breanna R5 years ago

shush Bonnie, that baby is horrific-looking.

Bonnie Boduk
Bonnie Kaspers5 years ago

The website is called FACEBOOK. Nowhere does this website state that only whole, good looking people can post photos. A face is a face. Instead of Facebook helping to promote acceptance of those who are born with disabilities, Facebook is DEMOTING it. WRONG! And to you, Jane, who always seems to find the worst - IF YOU DON'T LIKE PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT, THEN DON'T LOOK AT THEIR PAGES! Easy.

Sarah M.
Sarah M5 years ago

Another example that Facebook is twisted and people should boycott.

Lika S.
Lika P5 years ago

They ban a mother over a baby picture... Yet lesbian porn stays.

An innocent birth picture posted on an adult woman's profile.... Yet an illegal page made for an 11 year old (Facebook's TOS clearly states the child has to be 13) stays up, even with reports to take it down. Thing is, the child doesn't even have control of it, the step-mother does, and lists the girl as being interested in men.

I think we ought to think about a class action suit against facebook. They are so unprofessional and lack safety precautions against predators.

Julie Evans
Julie Evans5 years ago

Wow, I see videos of children with disabilities on FB all the time. I've even shared them with no problems from facebook. Sorry to hear these families are going through this.

Samantha Richardson

Facebook seems to do a good job of stepping on a lot of Mother's toes.

Maybe they should hire a position to advise specifically on this. At least then they wouldn't come off as such idiots.

Bonnie m.
Bonnie mutchler5 years ago

Jane R. if they offend you, don't look.

Bonnie m.
Bonnie mutchler5 years ago

Facebook is such a crock anymore. My nephew listed his children including his son who had died at age 3 with cerebral palsy including both his birth and death dates and FB changed it to birth pending. He was so upset. it is cruel to tell parents their kids aren't worthy to have their photos up or to put death dates for your children who pass away.

Tammy S.
Tsmmy S5 years ago

I know some censorship may be necessary but to prohibit a picture of a child with disabilities is a tad over the line. Down's syndrome isn't gross - Not every one on our planet is born "typical" and telling people who have physically disabled children they can 't post their children's pic on facebook is like telling people of a certain ethnic group they can not post pictures of their children on facebook, it's the same principle - Physically disabled children are genetically born the way they are, they are as human as the rest of us and should be treated in the same manner which includes having the same rights!