Facebook Mastectomy Scar Photos Allowed After 20K Sign Petition

Thursday, 13 Jun 2013 11:29 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Facebook has revised its nudity policy to allow users to post photos of mastectomy scars, after cancer survivors started a petition on Change.org that drew 20,000 signatures.

Scorchy Barrington, a woman struggling with stage IV breast cancer, began the online petition after she noticed that photographer David Jay's photos from the SCAR Project — a series of photographs of young breast cancer survivors — were being removed from the social media site.

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"As a woman living with Stage IV breast cancer, photos like The Scar Project help me feel a little less alone in what I'm going through," she wrote on Change.org. "With so many young women facing breast cancer diagnoses, I know these photos give them hope, too. By removing the photos, Facebook is sending us a message that our struggle with this disease should be kept in the dark."

On Wednesday, Facebook released a statement that said it would allow photos of mastectomy scars.

"We have long allowed mastectomy photos to be shared on Facebook, as well as educational and scientific photos of the human body and photos of women breastfeeding," the statement read. "We only review or remove photos after they have been reported to us by people who see the images in their News Feeds or otherwise discover them. On occasion, we may remove a photo showing mastectomy scarring either by mistake, as our teams review millions of pieces of content daily, or because a photo has violated our terms for other reasons.

"As a reminder, our terms stipulate that we generally do not allow nudity, with some exceptions as laid out above and here, consistent with other platforms that have many young users," the company added.

Jay told ABC News that the Scar Project would be "closely monitoring" Facebook to ensure the policy is implemented.

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Related stories:

Angelina Jolie: I Had Preventive Double Mastectomy

CNN Anchor Having Double Mastectomy In Wake of Jolie Procedure

Mastectomies Don’t Eliminate Breast Cancer Danger

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