Facebook censor image of unborn baby, dubbing it ‘graphic or violent’

Facebook censor image of unborn baby, dubbing it ‘graphic or violent’

Facebook’s decision to censor an image of a baby in utero is “totally unjustifiable” according to a Christian advocacy group.

The Iona Institute criticised the social media giant for placing a “warning screen” over their paid advertisement which depicts an unborn baby at 11 weeks gestation. Beside the foetus are the words ‘still one of us’.

The image is blacked-out with the message ‘This photo may be sensitive to some people’ and gives the option to click ‘Uncover photo’.


In a statement to this newspaper a Facebook spokesperson confirmed they were aware the ad was running with a warning screen and said: “In accordance with our polices, a photo or video containing graphic content may appear with a warning to let people know about the content before they view it and may only be visible to people older than 18.”

An Iona Institute spokesperson said the decision affects the whole pro-life movement. Last year the group ran a billboard campaign with the same image across the country which was “not censored as too violent or graphic to be shown”.

The spokesperson said: “Facebook is an extremely powerful company which is now suppressing the ability of the pro-life movement to get out its message. It appears to put an image of a child in the womb on a par with an image of an aborted foetus.”

Similar imagery to the ad is shown every day in maternity hospitals all over the world, they added, “parents show these images to their children without any qualms”.

The European Parliament posted a video on Facebook and YouTube this month called ‘Choose Your Future – European Elections 23-26 May’ which opens with a similar image of a foetus.

Facebook failed to answer a follow-up question before this paper went to print regarding these concerns, with their classification of the ad.

This comes as RTÉ reported that the START group, which represents about 250 medical professionals involved in abortion, estimate they’ve carried out 800-900 terminations per month. This would point to the overall abortion figure this year reaching 10,000.

The Irish Catholic will be hosting a pro-life conference entitled ‘The Future is Pro-Life’ on Saturday, May 25, at The Alex Hotel in Dublin 2.

Tickets are €30. Contact: 01-6874028 or email: events@irishcatholic.ie