She and her followers are NOT happy!
In a world where social justice and empathy have become huge topics of discussion and debate, more and more people are being celebrated for the way they were born and their natural traits, even if they don’t conform to modern standards of beauty. Although more and more of these traits have become celebrated and widely accepted, there are still incidents of people being outwardly disdainful of natural imperfections or defects that people may be born with.
This mother experienced this disdain first hand when the popular social media app Instagram took down a picture of her son with Goldenhar syndrome after another user reported it.
Charlie Beswick, an English mother, clearly has a huge amount of love for her children. Like any mother, she posted a picture of her twin boys on Instagram to show off how much they’ve been growing and to share her happiness with her friends.
Although one of the twin brothers was born without any conditions, Harry Beswick was born with Goldenhar syndrome. As a result, he has no left eye, eye socket, nostril, or ear. Although Harry has a prosthetic eye to wear, in this picture, he wasn’t wearing it.
Unfortunately, one Instagram user was so offended by her son’s appearance that they reported the image. Two days after posting the image, Instagram removed the picture without Charlie’s consent after an anonymous user reported it.
She took to Twitter to share what Instagram had done, and it wasn’t long before her followers took action. Her tweet was retweeted 46,000 times, and many Twitter users complained to Instagram about their decision.
“We mistakenly removed the photo, but quickly restored it as soon as the mistake was brought to our attention. We have apologised to the family,” an Instagram spokeswoman said, according to The Daily Mail. However, this isn’t completely true, according to Charlie.
“Instagram haven’t apologised – they’ve restored the photograph but not explained why it was removed in first place or apologised,” she told The UK Daily Mail. “It really upset me to have my child’s face taken off the platform and that it contravened some sort of guidelines.”
She added, “On the picture I had 2,300 likes, over 200 comments — all really nice supportive comments. Had [Instagram] taken 30 seconds to look at the image they would see it was really well received and a high engagement post for them. I felt quite offended, quite confused.”
Facing the Hate
Unfortunately, although Charlie describes her followers as an overall “really lovely community,” this isn’t the first time that she and her family have gotten hate simply for the way that her son looks.
She revealed, “We do get trolls and I’m quite thick skinned, I do a lot of policing on Instagram. I get in there first for negative comments. I’m very hot on the comments, I delete or report anything really quickly.”
Although she deletes the comments, she still has to read them. She recalls, “You get people telling me I should kill him with fire, he’s an abomination, a monster, freak, alien.”
She wasn’t short for examples of offensive things people had said to her. “People asking if they could put their bodily parts on different parts of my son’s face, which I find extremely offensive,” she said. “Real weirdos, kids trying to wind me up, and more hard core weirdos that will email and when I block them, set up other accounts to continue to send me abuse. But for every one of them there is two to three hundred incredibly supportive comments. It’s few and far between.”