Mum hits out after Instagram deletes photo of child with disability

A mother has criticised Instagram after a photo of her son, who has a physical disability, was deleted after it was reported for breaching the platform’s guidelines. 

Charlie Beswick, from Stoke-on-Trent, UK, posted a photo of her 12-year-old son Harry’s face on Instagram on Sunday. But, the post was deleted on Tuesday after it was reported by a community member. 

Harry was born with Goldenhar syndrome, according to Beswick’s blog. She explained that this means” he has no eye, eye socket, nostril, ear and a short jaw.” 

Shortly after the post was deleted, Beswick posted on Facebook, expressing her pain that the post had been reported by people on Instagram. “Sadly some people on Instagram feel that it’s [Harry’s face] too much to look at and have reported a picture of him (again),” she wrote. 

According to her post, the image had over 2,300 likes and 200 comments of support at the time of its deletion. 

“If someone hates to look at my child then I have two things to say. A) scroll past and B) you’re an arsehole,” she wrote, adding that she is “beyond disgusted.” 

Beswick told Mashable that the post was only reinstated after “public outrage.” She added that she was “furious” to learn it had been deleted and found its deletion “offensive.” 

In an Instagram post, Beswick said that she was troubled by the fact that some people felt her son’s face didn’t meet the platform’s guidelines. 

“What do you see when you look at my boy? I see the most beautiful smile, wonderful heart & purest love,” she wrote. 

A spokesperson for Instagram said the post had been removed in error and was restored once they were made aware of it. “We mistakenly removed the photo, but quickly restored it as soon as the mistake was brought to our attention. We have apologised to the family,” the spokesperson said.

“I’m glad to have my boy’s image back where it belongs but still feel that the ‘guidelines’ that my son’s face didn’t meet need changing,” she wrote. 

“This face matters,” she added. 

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