Posting Pictures of Her Terminally Ill Son Got Grieving Mother Banned from Facebook (Updated)

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The day Grayson James Walker was born, his parents—Heather and Patrick Walker, of Memphis, Tennessee—knew their time with him would be brief. Grayson had been diagnosed in utero with a rare neural tube birth defect called Anencephaly, in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull.

To honor the memory of their son's short life, the Walkers sought out help from a non profit organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, who sent a professional photographer to the hospital to capture on film the short life of the little baby Grayson.


Wanting to share with her friends and family the little life that had come and gone, Heather Walker posted the photos to her Facebook profile. A tiny newborn in a knit hat, without a knit hat, in his mother's arms, in his father's. All perfectly appropriate birthday images.

So, why did Facebook remove them from Heather's profile? And subsequently, after Heather reposted this pictures and got her friends and family to contact Facebook, she was banned from the site entirely.


Facebook's community standards page lists nine types of content that may be deemed objectionable and removed: Violence and Threats, Self-Harm, Bullying and Harassment, Hate Speech, Graphic Violence, Nudity and Pornography, Identity and Privacy, Intellectual Property and Phishing and Spam.

Which category Grayson's photos fall into is anyone's guess. [DailyMail]

Update: Facebook contacted us today with the below statement.

"Upon investigation, we concluded the photo does not violate our guidelines and was removed in error. Facebook is a place where almost a billion people share more than 300 million photos a day. Our dedicated User Operations Team reviews millions of pieces of this content a day to help keep Facebook safe for all ages. Our policies are enforced by a team of reviewers in several offices across the globe. This team looks at hundreds of thousands of reports every week, and as you might expect, occasionally, we make a mistake and remove a piece of content we shouldn't have. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience."