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Facebook Reinstates Breast Cancer Patient's Photos

Facebook will now let a breast cancer patient to post images of her mastectomy scars, following criticisms from Breast Cancer awareness groups in UK over removing photographs from the site.

Sharon Adams, 45, posted images of right part of her body showing scars after she had a mastectomy, but the website banned the images by tagging them as “sexual and abusive”.

However, Facebook reversed its decision after several protest groups, such as “Get Sharon Adams Back on Facebook”, protested against the decision, and thereby helped make sure that the photographs were no longer banned from the website.

On her Facebook page, Sharon Adams quoted that she uploaded the images to send a message to women that they should check their breasts regularly. She further went on to say that labelling her images as sexual and abusive was totally “absurd”, as the social networking website hosts some online groups about sexual positions and even some groups promoting racism.

Extending the company’s apologies over the issue, a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement, “Our user operations team reviews thousands of reported photos a day and may occasionally remove something that doesn't actually violate our policies. This is what happened here. We apologise”.

You can follow on Twitter@itproportal (opens in new tab).

Our Comments

The bigger Facebook is, the more likely it is to attract attention for even the smallest changes. The social networking website has one of the biggest photographic databases in the world and whatever happened to Sharon Adams was bound to happen sooner or later. Fortunately, Facebook chose to back down which, in the hindsight, was probably the best thing to do.

Related Links

Facebook allows breast cancer patient's pictures after complaints (opens in new tab)


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Facebook backs down over cancer row (opens in new tab)

(Press Association)

Facebook reverses 'sexual' image decision (opens in new tab)

(Tech Radar)

Facebook scarred over bid to keep clean breast (opens in new tab)

(The Sydney Morning Herald)

Facebook sorry over cancer photos (opens in new tab)


Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.