One can wholly sympathize with this mom’s frustration after her son’s picture was taken down. It all started when another user complained that the image of her son’s facial deformity was offensive.
Harry Beswick, 12, was born with Goldenhar syndrome, which is a serious and rare congenital defect. He has incomplete development of the ear, nose, soft palate, lip, and mandible.
Charlie, 38, is Harry’s mom. She and her boys live in Stoke-on-Trent, and Charlie keeps her 12,0000 Instagram followers regularly updated on the activities and progress of Harry and his twin brother, Oliver, on her account called Our Altered Life.
Harry has been fitted with a prosthetic eye, but after Charlie posted a picture of Harry without his eye, Charlie happened to notice two days later that the photo had been removed. Apparently, an anonymous user reported it.
The mother of two also had to endure all kinds of hateful comments and spiteful words from people who posted hurtful comments about her son, calling him horrible names like “abomination” and “monster.”
Charlie also stated that although she gets hateful remarks, she also gets good comments, which far outweigh the negative ones.
Charlie was highly upset and tweeted her complaints on Twitter, as opposed to Instagram. Her post was subsequently re-tweeted more than 46,000 times. There was outrage, and only after people communicated with Instagram about the injustice was the photo restored.
A spokeswoman for Instagram said: “We mistakenly removed the photo, but quickly restored it as soon as the mistake was brought to our attention. We have apologized to the family.”
Charlie, a part-time supply teacher, also maintains it is not the first time her photos were taken down, and neither has she received an apology.
Charlie said: “Instagram haven’t apologized – they’ve restored the photograph but not explained why it was removed in the first place or apologized.
“I felt quite offended, quite confused,” said Charlie. “I have 11,700 followers and it’s a really lovely community. On the picture, I had 2,300 likes, over 200 comments – all really nice supportive comments. Had they taken 30 seconds to look at the image they would see it was really well received and a high engagement post for them.”
Charlie is actively involved in raising awareness and says, “I am trying to become an advocate for children like Harry and families like us and hope Instagram would support us in a positive way, not make life difficult – because we have enough already.”