Facebook accused of double standards over cheeky photo

IS IT an innocent photo of a child playing in the rain, or is it inappropriate? 

The Courier had a photo removed from its Facebook page for not adhering to the social media’s site’s community standards. The picture was of a child playing in a puddle, wearing only gumboots.

Ballarat resident Phil Jordan led the charge in saying it was inappropriate and reported it to Facebook, saying it violated their terms and conditions. 

“It’s a minor. They shouldn’t have their naked photo put up on social media,” Mr Jordan said.

He said there were photos of himself naked as a child, but they belonged in private family photo albums and not on social media. 

The child’s mother,  Belinda Phelps, submitted the photo to The Courier for a ‘wet weather’ competition.

“I had posted it on my personal profile earlier and a friend had told me I should enter it in the competition.”

She said the photo was taken on Tuesday morning. 

“I was getting the kids ready for a bath, and after I’d undressed my daughter she took off outside.

“She just saw it was wet and wanted to play in the puddles.”

Ms Phelps said she took a photo because it was cute, before bringing her back inside for a bath. 

“She wouldn’t have been outside for more than a minute.”

She said the reaction on her personal page was very different to that on The Courier’s Facebook page.

“There were just a few comments saying it was gorgeous and she was like her mother. There’s not anything sexual about it. You don’t see any of her private parts and you don’t even see her face.”

She said it was nothing compared to other items on Facebook that were sexual. 

“People who look at it like that must have their own issues.”

Ms Phelps said censorship had gotten out of hand.

“You see all these pages popping up constantly, which are sexual, and yet this innocent photo of a two-year-old gets taken down? Just let kids be kids.” 

Mr Jordan said the photo should never have been published online. 

“Facebook should constantly be monitoring posts, and the moment a bum or breast is put up, it should be taken down and the user or the page banned from Facebook.” 

He said that the photo wasn’t the worst example on social media, but still had the potential to inspire predators. 

Ballarat resident Melanie Schoo said she had reported pages on Facebook before that hadn’t been taken down.

“I’ve reported posts and pages that have come up as ‘suggested’ in my newsfeed that are racist and incite hatred,” Ms Schoo said.

She said Stop the Islamation of Australia was one of the pages she had reported.

“Facebook emailed me back saying they’d reviewed the page and it didn’t breach their standards.

“It is a double standard for Facebook to not allow an innocent photo of a child playing in a puddle.” 

nicole.cairns@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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