Instagram accused of discriminating against boy with disability after taking down pictures of him without prosthetic eye

Jamie Phillips
Charlie Beswick, 38, from Stoke on Trent, with her son Harry, 8  - SWNS.com

The mother of a 12-year-old boy has accused Instagram of discriminating against her son after an image of him without an eye was removed.

Harry Beswick was born with Goldenhar syndrome and as a result, is missing an eye, nostril and ear from one side of his face.

His mother, Charlie Beswick, posted a photo on Monday of Harry without the prosthetic eye that he usually wears. But the social media giant removed the image for "breaching guidelines".

Harry was born with Goldenhar syndrome, which means he has no left eye, eye socket, nostril or left ear Credit: SWNS.com

Ms Beswick runs her own parenting blog and has documented life with her son's disability for the last six months. She said it is the second time a photo has been removed and both times the images showed Harry without his prosthetic eye.

The mother, from Stoke-on-Trent, said: "I appreciate that he looks different and people might not want to look at it, but that is not Instagram's decision.

"For Instagram to decide that Harry's face is not suitable is disgusting. It does feel like discrimination to me. It is my son's face and I am very proud to be showing him off."

Harry has had 10 operations since birth, including two procedures to restructure his skull and build an eye socket.

This post was deemed inappropriate by Instagram after a user complained

A post on Twitter by Ms Beswick highlighting the issue has received more than 60,000 retweets and 30,000 likes. She said the overall support from her followers has been "really positive".

Instagram have since restored the image, though Ms Beswick has said she is yet to receive an apology or an explanation as to why it was initially removed.

In an email to Ms Beswick, Instagram wrote: "We had our policy enforcement team review the removal and confirmed the photo was incorrectly removed.

"We've restored the photo and will take steps to ensure it is not removed again."

A spokesperson for Instagram said: “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.”

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes