Cancer survivor’s inspirational mastectomy photos BANNED by Facebook for being ‘pornographic’
- Joanne Jackson, 40, from Thornhill, West Yorks, had a series of pictures taken to celebrate beating the disease
- Social networking site removed images, citing ‘nudity and pornography’ rule
- Incident comes as Facebook bans U.S. mother’s photos of baby who died from birth defect for ‘graphic content’
PUBLISHED: 10:12 GMT, 22 May 2012 | UPDATED: 11:17 GMT, 22 May 2012
Mother-of-two Joanne Jackson, 40, had a photo session to commemorate winning her battle with the killer disease after having a mastectomy – and posted them on the social networking site.
But Facebook removed some of the images, which revealed her operation scar, for being offensive.
Joanne has been warned that further ‘abusive’ breaches will result in her account being shut down.
BANNED: This is the photograph of Joanne Jackson, 40, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last June and had a mastectomy, that was removed Facebook after being deemed ‘pornographic’
Angry Joanne, a Slimming World consultant of Thornhill, Dewsbury, West Yorks., said: ‘There is nothing pornographic or explicit about these pictures. That was not the idea at all.
‘I took breast cancer and the mastectomy in my stride and decided it wasn’t going to stop me living my life. It wasn’t going to define who I was, and it didn’t make me any less attractive as a woman.
‘My attitude was to just get on with it. I knew I could kick cancer’s ass and I did.’
- Mother’s fury after Facebook BANS her for posting pictures of her baby son who lived for just eight hours after being born with rare birth defect
Former council youth worker Joanne was approached by a friend, whose husband Paul Hodgson was a professional photographer, and she jumped at the chance to pose for pictures.
She said: ‘I am not one who is shy but these pictures weren’t as much about me as about other women who had maybe just been diagnosed with breast cancer.
‘It doesn’t have to be a death sentence and there is life after a mastectomy.
‘The images aren’t fluffy, they are real and I am very proud of them.’
Joanne’s story is one of great inspiration as she only discovered she had breast cancer after dieting and losing five stones in weight, dropping from a size 22 to a size 10.
Inspirational: Wishing to help others through her story, Joanne had the series of photos taken to celebrate her survival. She posted them on her own Facebook page and on the pages of several cancer organisations
Offensive? Facebook removed the photos, citing the rule that banned ‘pornography and graphic sexual content’ from the social networking site. Any further breaches would result in the closure of her account, they said
She joined Slimming World in April 2009 weighing 15st 4lbs, after putting on weight as a result of suffering years of heartache, including four miscarriages. She now weighs 10st 5lbs.
Thanks to her weight loss, Joanne’s bust reduced from a size 40HH to 30C. In May last year she discovered she had a lump in her breast.
Fighting fit: Joanne lost five stone in 2009, and the resulting reduction in her bust size was the reason she was able to spot the tumours in her breast
Tests revealed she had two types of cancer in her left breast.
Her breast care nurse Debbie Weevel said: ‘If Joanne hadn’t lost the weight that she did, the lump wouldn’t have been spotted until much later and it could have been too late.’
Joanne, who is married to self-employed cobbler Andrew and has two sons Connah, 19, and Evan, five, posted the images that celebrated her survival in her own Facebook album and on pages for various cancer organisations.
She has no idea who reported them but the warning came out of the blue.
The message said: ‘Content you shared on Facebook has been removed because it violated Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
‘Shares that contain nudity, pornography and graphic sexual content are not permitted on Facebook.
‘This serves as a warning. Additional violations may result in the termination of your account.’
The message added that Joanne should ‘refrain from posting abusive material in the future.’
Joanne’s Facebook friends have also taken up the fight and the images have been re-posted as far afield as Australia, the USA, Canada and Spain.
‘It’s censorship, pure and simple,’ said Joanne, who is now having breast reconstruction. ‘And I’m not backing down so Facebook can do their worst.’
Photographer Mr Hodgson, of Huddersfield-based Box of Frogs, said the pictures were ‘inspirational, not salacious or erotic’ and added: ‘This is about showing that a cancer diagnosis does not mean your life has ended.
‘These pictures show that you can beat cancer and still be you.’
A Facebook spokesman confirmed that ‘several’ images had been removed because they breached terms and conditions.
‘He said Facebook welcomed mastectomy pictures but said that some images may breach regulations.
Last week Facebook came under fire for deleting a mother’s photos of her baby who died hours after being born with a rare birth defect.
Heather Walker’s baby Grayson had anencephaly, a condition that meant his skull did not form fully over his brain.
Heather, from Memphis, Tennessee, posted several photos of Grayson on Facebook after his death, one which showed the baby without a hat.
It was this photo that was deemed ‘graphic content’ by Facebook and deleted.
Heather said: ‘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.’
Memories: Heather Walker and her husband Patrick had a professional photographer take photos of Grayson, who died after only eight hours. But Facebook deleted some of the photos that showed the baby, born with a rare condition that meant his skull did not form properly over his brain, without his hat
After repeatedly putting the removed picture on her profile, Heather’s account was temporarily disabled.
An appeal to Facebook led to the mother’s account being reactivated and the picture of her baby which was deemed ‘graphic’ allowed to remain.
A spokesman for Facebook denied that Heather was ever banned from the site, and said in a statement: ‘On rare occasions, a photo reported to us may be too graphic too be permitted on the site. In these cases, the person who posted the photo is contacted, and the photos are removed.
‘We strive to fit the needs of a diverse community while respecting everyone’s interest in sharing content that is important to them.
‘It is important to note that any photos that are removed – whether inappropriately or in accordance with our policies – are only done so after being brought to our attention by other Facebook users who report them as violations, and when such reports are subsequently reviewed by Facebook.’
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