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Really, Facebook? A picture of a sick baby isn’t scary

Facebook rejects sick baby’s photo because it might be too scary, a dismembered body or a vampire.

Hudson Bond was born in July, but he is already facing an uphill battle — he is in desperate need of a heart transplant. When his father tried to boost a post on Facebook to raise funds for his operation, the photo he used was rejected. The reason? The photo was too scary, gory, ghoulish or might have been of zombies or vampires. Huh?

Hudson’s father, Kevin Bond, created the Hudson’s Heart Facebook page to help raise awareness for his tiny son’s serious medical condition and the importance of pediatric organ donation. The heart transplant he needs is very expensive, and the family has set up a fundraising page as well. When Bond went to select a photo to accompany his boosted post, he chose one of his little one resting in the hospital, attached to the tubes and wires that are helping sustain his life.

He was surprised when the photo came back from Facebook as rejected, and even more disappointed when he read the reasons why — “Your ad wasn’t approved because the image or video thumbnail is scary, gory or sensational and evokes a negative response. Images including accidents, car crashes, dead and dismembered bodies, ghosts, zombies, ghouls and vampires are not allowed.”

Yes, Facebook said that a baby’s hospital photo was too scary to use in an ad.

Facebook has been under fire in the past for its unequal “policing” of user-uploaded photos. I’ve questioned in the past why photos of breastfeeding babies were removed while sexually-explicit pictures were allowed to remain. And this is just more of its apparent ridiculous inability to accurately censor photos. I understand that Facebook is home to millions of people, organizations and businesses, and likely some of the approval process has become automated. But really, to think that someone, anyone, looked at that photo and said “nope” is bananas.

Facebook has fortunately backtracked and has offered the family $10,000 worth of ads in apology.

Hudson’s dad is sharing some of those advertising funds with another family in need, and their own goal of the $125,000 needed for their infant’s heart transplant is coming closer every minute.

Still, I have to wonder — WTF were you thinking, Facebook?

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