Childbirth educator is calling on Facebook to stop censoring images after her social media page was deleted because her posts were deemed too graphic.
Vicki Hobbs said she had been unable to access her Facebook page for the past fortnight after five images and videos of childbirth she posted were either reported or picked up on by Facebook’s censors.
Three of the photos posted by Ms Hobbs were taken by internationally renowned birth photographer Belle Verdiglione, who is also from Perth. Two of the photos won Ms Verdiglione a WA Epson Professional Photography Award.
So what images are causing issues? *warning* explicit images below.
Ms Hobbs said she was initially given a 24-hour ban by Facebook over the images and videos.
“Then that next day I noticed the images had all been blurred. You had to click on a link to uncover the image,” she told nine.com.au.
“I thought, that’s great. There will be no more problems and it gives everyone a choice.”
“But 24 hours later I got reported again, or Facebook’s bots picked up these same images again. They basically just sent me an email saying my Facebook page had been unpublished.
“I could still actually see my Facebook page at that stage but other people couldn’t. Then the next day it was just completely gone, I couldn’t see anything.”
According to Facebook’s guidelines for nudity, exceptions can be made when the purpose of a post is to “raise awareness about a cause or for educational or medical reasons”.
Ms Hobbs said her posts clearly fell under the category of education.
Ms Hobbs said she hoped Facebook would consider making changes to its platform to allow users to blur their own photos – which their followers can then choose to uncover – as is currently an option on Instagram.
“There is a huge grey area here. We have these standards and we have these guidelines. But birth education is education. We need to have that option to blur those images so it doesn’t offend anyone who doesn’t want to see them,” she said.
After nine.com.au contacted Facebook, the social media giant investigated Ms Hobbs’ case and determined her page had been taken down in error.
“Our Community Standards are designed to create a safe environment where people feel free to express themselves. While we have clear rules restricting nudity, we do of course understand that nudity can be shared for a variety of reasons, including to share birthing and breastfeeding moments, and we have developed our nudity policies over time to allow for this,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
“In this case, our proactive detection tools mistakenly identified some of the birthing content on Vicki Hobbs’ Page as violating and removed it, causing her page to be disabled.
We have restored the content and the page, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience caused. We’re proud that people like Vicki use Facebook to grow their business and bring communities together to share their experiences.”
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