Facebook rowback on declaring image of foetus ‘graphic’

Facebook rowback on declaring image of foetus ‘graphic’

Facebook has admitted making a “mistake” when it applied a “ridiculous” warning screen over an image of a foetus in the womb at 11-weeks.

The computer-generated image of the baby beside the words ‘Still one of us’ was being used as part of an Iona Institute online and billboard campaign. It was initially restricted by Facebook who, when queried by this paper, cited it was their policy to warn of “graphic content”.

The image was blacked-out with the message ‘This photo may be sensitive to some people’ and gave the option to click ‘Uncover photo’. The warning screen has since been removed.

A spokesperson for the Iona Institute said: “We very much welcome this decision. It is a victory for common sense and free speech.

“It was ridiculous for Facebook to have ever banned an ad showing an image of the 11 week old baby in the womb. It was even more ridiculous that such an image was considered ‘violent’ or ‘graphic’ content.”

In a statement to The Irish Catholic the media giant said that Facebook is a place for people and organisations to “share and campaign on the things that matter to them”.

It is believed one of Facebook’s content reviewers made the decision which was later negated.

Facebook added: “In this instance we made a mistake in applying a warning screen over the image used in The Iona Institute’s ad. We have removed the warning screen and apologise for any inconvenience caused”.

The image is currently being used on a number of billboards across the country and was used last year in the run-up to the abortion referendum.

“The pro-life movement has to be able to show the public the basic humanity of the child growing inside the mother’s womb. It is a relief we can do this again,” the Iona Institute spokesperson added.