Facebook has lifted a ban on pictures of baby Eli, who was born without a nose, after deeming the photos “shocking” and inappropriate for viewers. In addition, the social media giant will allow Live Action News stories of Eli to be promoted, after banning the images for over 10 days.
Eli was born with a rare condition that left him without sinus or nasal cavities. His mother, Brandi McGlathery, shared his story with the world, declaring him “perfect” and worthy of love. Facebook initially rejected a promotion of a Live Action News story on baby Eli, noting that the “image or video thumbnail may shock or evoke a negative response from viewers.”
When McGlathery saw a reprint of Live Action’s story on LifeNews, she posted the story on her Facebook page, angered that her beautiful baby was so controversial for the social media giant.
According to Life Dynamics, Facebook also asked McGlathery to remove pictures of her son. McGlathery was shocked by the request, and by comments from viewers who suggested she should have aborted Eli.
Responding with dignity and love, McGlathery persisted in defending her son as a perfect baby worthy of life. Public outcry on her behalf was strong, and Facebook lifted the ban on her photos after her story was “shared an astonishing 30,000 times in just six hours.”
Facebook’s perpetuation of discrimination is disturbing, and reinforces what McGlathery says when she writes: “My biggest fear for Eli is that the world won’t see him as the beautiful, brave little boy that I see him as.”
Facebook has the ability to help change such discrimination. Eli is a valuable and precious child. Not only do those who love him see that, but those who don’t even know him have shared his picture and story worldwide.
Eli’s value is being recognized worldwide, and what Facebook tried to keep from the public eye is now being viewed for what it is: a person with inherent value and beauty.