Facebook allows breast cancer survivor’s scar pictures

Thursday, November 25, 2010

LONDON - Facebook has retracted its controversial decision to ban a breast cancer survivor from posting the pictures of her scars on the social networking website, saying it supports the sufferer’s right to share her experience with friends.

Anna Antell’s black and white pictures were taken as part of a cancer exhibition at Oxford’s Malmaison Hotel in order to show off the beauty and bravery of survivors.

The 43-year-old had undergone intensive breast cancer treatment including a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy after diagnosed with breast cancer in August last year. But the mother-of-three was distraught when the site removed the images she had chosen to share with her Facebook friends, because they contained nudity, the Daily Mail reported.

A Facebook spokeswoman said: “We always strive to get the balance of our policies right, to enable people to share their experiences while still being mindful of how to protect other people, some as young as 13, that are on Facebook.

“We do not allow nude images on the site, but recognise that we need to enforce this policy sensitively and support Anna’s right to share her experience of her friends including photographs of her scar.”

Facebook said it contacted Anna Wednesday and hope that she will “accept our suggestion to share images of her scar that do not show any further nudity”.

Antell said Wednesday: “What they have done makes me more cross the more I think about it. It’s basically saying we are offensive.”

“The way I see it, cancer is offensive, Facebook is offensive but these images are not. “Would the image have been removed if it showed a man with a scar on his chest?”

Antell launched the Dear Cancer exhibition to raise money for breast cancer research, inviting cancer patients from across the world to send in artwork and pose for photographic portraits.

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