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Thread: What's Wrong With This Picture?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    Question What's Wrong With This Picture?

    ((((((HUGS)))))) To All ~

    On the heels of Facebook's Initial Public Offering (IPO), the story of Heather Walker's Facebook banning is receiving some media attention.

    In February 2012, Heather and her husband, Patrick, welcomed their newborn son, Grayson James. Born with anencephaly, Grayson only lived for 8 hours following his birth.

    The organization, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, provided a photographer to capture photographic moments of Grayson with his parents, siblings, and relatives during their brief time with him. In most of the photographs, Grayson is wearing a cap on his head, but in a few, his cap is removed, revealing the results of his condition.

    Heather posted those photographs of her precious son on her Facebook page. Facebook administrators deleted her photos of Grayson. Heather asked her family and friends to contact Facebook in protest, and Heather was then banned by Facebook.

    Facebook's community standards prohibit the following: Violence and Threats, Self-Harm, Bullying and Harassment, Hate Speech, Graphic Violence, Nudity and ****ography, Identity and Privacy, Intellectual Property and Phishing and Spam.

    Since Facebook has not commented publicly on Heather's banning, it is unclear under which of those categories Grayson's photographs fell in their decision to delete them from Heather's page.

    Heather's ban apparently was lifted in 24 hours, most likely as a result of the publicity her banning has received.

    I am not and never will be on Facebook. The IPO, which generates extraordinary wealth for a small, select group of people, and the removal of Grayson's photos and banning of his mother just added two more reasons to my already long and solid list.

    On my 9 year grief journey for my son, Michael, I have met hundreds of grieving parents on line, and I have viewed hundreds more of memorial pages for children of perfect strangers. One endearing theme among us is photographs ~ they are treasures to us, which we cherish for the remainder of our Earthly lives.

    We want our children to be remembered, so many parents create memorial pages for their children. And those pages are covered with photos.

    It doesn't matter if your child lives 80 years or 8 hours. You need and want photos of your beloved child with you and your family to keep forever.

    So that is what Heather and Patrick did with their son, Grayson. They created a photographic memory of him. Then, with pride in their beautiful child, and to share their grief in their loss, Heather posted those photos on her Facebook page.

    What caused Facebook to decide that Grayson's photos were unacceptable and a violation of their standards?

    The photos of Grayson without his cap on? But this was Grayson ~ why must he hide beneath a cap?

    Grayson is a soul, a spirit ~ he is more than the vessel in which he was born. He is beautiful.

    Was it the reality that Grayson was dying, while the photos were being taken? What about the reality that Grayson was also living his life, so very brief, in the arms of his loving family?

    Did Facebook suddenly decide that these moments were private and shouldn't be shared on Facebook? If so, that exceeds irony.

    It would be interesting to learn the reasoning behind Facebook's deletion of Grayson's photos and Heather's subsequent banning, followed by her reinstatement. But I suspect that they are too busy counting their billions to be concerned about disparaging an innocent infant and hurting a grieving mother and father.

    For a sample of the current media coverage of Heather's story:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...th-defect.html

    http://www.kctv5.com/story/18555730/...cebook-protest


    Note Bene: In deciding where to post this thread, I contemplated a few forums. I chose Child Neurology for several reasons: 1) our focus is children with neurological conditions, which Grayson had; 2) this is where I post most often; 3) the other possible forums have far less activity, although our activity at CN has slowed to a stop lately.

    All Braintalk members are invited to respond to this post. Please ~ I want to hear your opinions and viewpoints.

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    Hi Rose!

    I read the story and watched the video...also looked at the link to all the pictures. Wow. In my opinion...there was only one really 'graphic' photo, the one where it looked like he had just been born and he was looking into the camera and everything was visible. I've seen a lot of graphic brain stuff over the years (with all Caitlin's shunt issues-eating thru the skin, infections, etc) and that picture was more shocking to me than all that. But that is only my opinion. I think if it were me, I would not have posted that one. I thought all the other pictures were nicely done, the ones with the hat on looked very nice and there were some very sweet ones without the hat where she was holding him and only the back of the head/hair was visible but none of the anencephaly. I think (if it were me), I would have kept the shock one offline just so that people would not be gawking at him. I admit, I clicked on the link to see how bad it was. I don't think fb should have censored it as it does not fall under their guidelines but I think she could have made a better decision to not put the full on hatless front shot on the internet. I have actually been cutting back on pictures that I post, sadly. Discussions here and in 'real life' about privacy online have gotten me thinking more about what I am putting out 'there'. I had already stopped putting stuff about Caitlin out to my general fb friend list. It's tricky to be navigating what to share and not!

    Lisa O.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

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    you asked for opinions,so here's mine: they should not have posted the graphic pictures. I wonder why they did this myself. I'm not on FB so no opinion about the removal of the pics or the banning.

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    Wow.. I have mixed feelings about this. Having lost Amanda my pictures are very important to me. I love sharing them with everyone and would post more if I had them. I am proud of my baby girl and miss having the opportunity to take more pictures of her. That being said, I don't know if I could have put that one specific picture up of her if it had been her. Most parents of NT children, have a hard enough time looking at our children in wheelchairs, or with walkers. I would have wanted to be sensitive to their feelings while trying to educate them in the process. If the parents put that picture up as a loving tribute to their baby, I could understand that and would stand behind that decision, but think they should have done that with private settings for friends only. Not open for the world. If it was just done as a shock, I think it was wrong. That is a very disturbing picture and cant understand why they would want to post such a private moment so that EVERYONE with an opinion would be able to voice it. I feel for the parents as they are now part of this stupid club we share. No one should have to lose a child. My heart aches for them. I hope the baby didn't suffer. RIP baby boy.
    Carrie mom to Amanda my new angel 12-29-07.NO LONGER DXD Multicystic Encephalomalcia, Acryptic CAH, Loved to watch mtv hits, wrestling, 3 stooges, Andy Griffith and Spongebob Square pants.

    And Josh 21 year old brain.

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    I have to say that for the family the pictures are priceless and treasured I'm sure and that's why they wanted to share them. They really are beautiful memories to have. I think it's wonderful to show other families who may go down this path that the time spent with their child is worth every moment of grief that may come with it. I hope that this was their goal along with being able to share it with family and friends and have something to help them remember their son. They actually have someone in their eyes that they are grieving not just a name. I'm not a "facebooker" (I do belong to one private facebook group no public postings) so making any part of my life that public isn't something I'm used to doing. But I do know that if I wanted to share a story like this the picture in question is not how I would want everyone to know and remember my child. Yes it's exteremely tragic but it's just as powerful a message without that picture and honestly it may scare someone else who is struggling with a decision to continue a similar pregnancy(it is very graphic). We've had a lot of different medical things to deal with but the only pictures of such that I have shared are not and never would be graphic is nature.The other thing is unfortunatly the picture in question has turned their story into a "contriversy" over facebook practices as apposed to a story about how preciouse every child is and what a gift they can be even if for a short time. This is just my opinion and I think it's just sad that this decision they made may change the way their child is remembered.
    Mary Grace

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    ((((((Lisa, Buttons, Carrie, & Mary Grace))))))


    Thank you so much for sharing your opinions.

    From what I've read, Heather posted the photos of Grayson privately on her Facebook page to her friends and family. The photos became public after Heather protested Facebook's removal of them and her banishment (temporary banning) from Facebook. I would guess that they all were aware of her pregnancy and Grayson's condition, as she and her husband knew that he had anencephaly and would not survive long after his birth. Perhaps she wanted them to see him as he was to help them to understand his condition.

    I've read many of the comments to several news articles about Grayson's photos, and interestingly, the majority of the comments support Heather's decision to post them. Most people say that they weren't shocked, when they saw Grayson without his cap. They were expecting him to have anomalies. I am surprised at the amount of people from the general population, who posted comments stating that Heather should share any photos of her son that she chooses.

    My Thoughts ~

    First, I think about choice.

    You've stated that you wouldn't choose to post the photos of Grayson without his cap. I don't know what I would choose to do. I've learned that grief is unpredictable. But I would want the right to make that decision, and I would hope that decision would be respected by my family and friends.

    Next, I think about Donna's recent post about our beautiful children as seen through the lens of a high fashion photographer. If you haven't read Donna's post and watched the video by the photographer, I urge you to do so.

    I have lived a lifetime of observing people look away from my children, or stare at them as if they were freaks or monsters. People actually crossed the street to walk on the opposite sidewalk to avoid being near my boys. We were told to leave a Las Vegas casino (when my boys were over 21, and I had proof), because my sons were "bothering the other patrons." (Incidentally, I asked the "other patrons" if our sons were bothering them, and they said, "no." We left anyway.)

    The fact is that no one is perfect. But if we hide our imperfections, how are we going to learn to accept them and teach others to accept us as we are?

    Grayson's vessel, his body, was born with imperfections. But his soul was and is absolutely pure.

    And that is what I saw when I looked at all of the photographs of Grayson.

    Imperfections make us uncomfortable. They disturb us, because we are forced to recognize that life is often unfair and not pretty.

    But, if we look deeper, we might realize that love is always beautiful. And when love triumphs over the imperfections, our discomfort vanishes.

    I feel that Grayson has opened up communication about imperfections, acceptance, parental grieving, and unconditional love. People across the globe are talking about him and his family. In just his brief 8 hours on Earth, he left us a lesson plan, and he is teaching us. That is Grayson's legacy.

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    Hi!

    I like the comparison to the fashion photographer pictures....this post did make me think of that. I watched his (photographer) video and the one of those that struck me the most was the photo of the boy with Marfan's syndrome, the first one was like a mug shot...a boy standing straight with arms down at the sides, black bars over eyes and privates. And then the photographer's shot of a boy with Marfan's...swimming in a pool with arms streched out to the sides. Both photos showing the differences caused by the syndrome (longer arms) but in totally different ways. That is what bothered me about the one most graphic photo of the baby...that photo seemed to be more of the style of pictures that the photographer was trying to get away from. The ones with the mom holding him where you could still see the back of the baby's head and that something was not formed right (by the way it sloped) but it had a different mood to it, mom loving the baby vs gawk at the baby. Just my thoughts! :)

    Lisa O.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

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    well as you've figured out by now I'm not active on this thread. it caught my attention cause it was a new thread. and I'm a curious person. I didn't see the graphic photo's. however I did read the comments on the one link. only one person was against the photo's so I felt they had screened the comments. JUST MY THOUGHT.

    I'm not familiar with Facebook myself.

    my son's are in their 40's so it's been many years since I've even encountered many babies & I'm not someone that melts when I see pictures of ANY baby. just me,for whatever reason.

    the links made me very grateful my children were fortunate to be born healthy. I think we all tend to take "normal" for granted.and I have alot of admiration for those less fortunate. life brings different struggles for all of us. many times you cannot "see" the abnormalities.

    nobody is perfect.

    I admit I was actually more focused on the mom. it's been said we focus on what we see within the first 3 seconds. the mom's eye shadow was what caught my eye. now most of you will probably wonder what I'm talking about eh? point is we all see things differently. I saw it as a photo op USING the baby.

    y'all have probably figured out by now I'm a Liberal & my heart does ache for any mother faced with a choice of aborting a baby that won't live. I'm not trying to offend anyone,just writing my personal thoughts on this subject.
    Last edited by Buttons2; 05-23-2012 at 09:52 AM.

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    I guess if the mother had put the pictures up as private, and then they were taken down, I would have a problem with it too. Who is watching? And who makes that call? I am glad to hear that the majority of the posts AFTER when the mother was banned and objected, were supporting her right to put the pictures up. Knowing that they hadn't been put out there for the whole world originally, makes ME feel better. Not that she should be hiding her baby. Or ashamed of him. But I feel like the world is such a mean place, that I would want to protect that child from so many horrible people. I agree about the baby being on the earth for such a short time and having touched so many lives. If nothing else, he has impacted tons of people that would never have thought twice about this.
    Carrie mom to Amanda my new angel 12-29-07.NO LONGER DXD Multicystic Encephalomalcia, Acryptic CAH, Loved to watch mtv hits, wrestling, 3 stooges, Andy Griffith and Spongebob Square pants.

    And Josh 21 year old brain.

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    I totally agree that this mom has the "right" to post the pictures. It's just not what I would have personally done, if it was meant to be private and a memorial for friends and family it's just not how I would want my child remembered, not for their difference or dissability but rather for the difference eh made is a short time and that he was loved by all. If they're trying to make a statement about differences and use "shock" to open up a conversation they succeeded in doing so. I wonder what THEIR feelings are now that it went public (was this their idea after the banning?) and has turned into such a contraversy. Without the picture in question it's still obviouse that there is physical differences and words about how perfect,beautiful and loved this child was for the short time he was alive would be just as powerful. Just my opinion and what I thi8nk I would do in such a case...
    Mary Grace

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