Mom fights Facebook's censoring of child's "bum photo"

A North Carolina mother tells CBS News she "stands behind" the photo of her daughter that got her temporarily banned from Facebook

Jill White's edited photo that was posted on her Facebook page after she had been temporarily banned for the uncensored version.

A North Carolina mother tells CBS News she "stands behind" the photo of her daughter that got her temporarily banned from Facebook.

While at the beach, Jill White, a professional photographer, snapped a picture of her two-year-old daughter recreating the pose of the "Coppertone girl" from the 1950s, reported CBS Charlotte affiliate WBTV. She had told the news station that her daughter's bathing suit had been pulled down by the little girl's friend.

After asking the friend's mother for her permission, White says, she posted it online.

"I posted [the photo] on Coppertone's [Facebook page]," White told WBTV. "We thought it would be cute because of the old Coppertone ad and her tan line looked like that."
Then, White said someone reported the photo to Facebook as being inappropriate. Given the option to delete the photo or change the privacy settings, White chose to ignore Facebook's warning, saying she did not believe the photo could be considered either nudity or pornography, which are barred under Facebook's terms of use.

"There's nothing sexual about this photo," she told CBS News in a phone interview.

Facebook disagreed, and banned White for 24 hours -- leaving her unable to post on her profile page or her professional photography page. According to the social network's terms of use, Facebook reserves the right to "remove content that violates our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. If we determine you've posted something that violates our terms, you may receive a warning or become disabled, depending on how severe the violation is."

When given access to her Facebook profile again, White reposted an edited version of the photo.

"I got back on with another photo, this time a big Emoji face on the area of the butt crack," she told WBTV. "Now it is being reviewed again for nudity and pornography."

She said she was concerned she could be banned for life if the photo was again found inappropriate.

After the incident went viral, angering some Facebook users, Facebook said White was not facing a lifetime ban and that the first photo was not considered pornographic. Rather, the photo displayed her daughter's nude bottom, prompting deletion.

In a statement to WBTV, Facebook said: "With over 1 billion people using Facebook we have to put in place a set of universal guidelines that respect the views of a wide range of people...These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for everyone on Facebook."

But White told CBS News she thinks Facebook needs to be more clear about their standards.

"I stand behind it. If they're going to take that photo down -- there are so many photos that have been reported on Facebook they haven't taken down," she said.

And she insisted that the photograph "does not constitute anything [like] pornography."

"As a photographer, that's what a lot of moms like -- the bum photos. It's a mom thing, I suppose."

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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