A Mom Found A Photo Of Her Baby From Her Private Facebook Page On An 'Ugly Baby' Instagram Account

Photo: Teesside Live
Courtney Tait, her boyfriend Scott and her baby Hudson

A mother was shocked and devastated when she found out her nine-month-old boy was featured alongside other babies in an Instagram page that highlights “ugly babies.”

In a now-deleted account called @Ugly_Babies_page, dozens of babies were featured on the page to mock their looks. The mother, Courtney Tait, was most surprised by the fact that the image of her baby was from her private Facebook account.

The scary thing for Tait was not that people would think her baby is “ugly,” but that images of her and her family would be spreading on the internet, putting her family’s safety at risk.

Photo: Evening Gazette

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How the baby's photo wound up on the "Ugly Babies" Instagram account

Tait had an image of her nine-month-old son Hudson and her boyfriend Scott uploaded to the anonymous Instagram page without the family's knowledge.

The 21-year-old said she was “heartbroken” that people called her son ugly and was even more shocked when she found out that a friend of hers had her own child posted to the Instagram page, too. 

The couple lives in Middlesbrough, England, and the town in which they live, Teesside, had several babies featured on the account.

“It was heartbreaking to be honest, the last thing I want is for my son to be called ugly. I know my child is gorgeous — it's not about that,” Tait said. “It's more about who's viewing my child, taking a photo of my nine-month-old and posting it for other weird people to see.”

The most worrying aspect of it for all the parents and families was that many of the baby images were taken from private accounts on Instagram and Facebook. Instagram is owned by Facebook, so many of the accounts are linked across the two platforms. This makes it easy for hackers and people to find them.

This led to the tracing of an IP address that was found to be near Ropner Park, which is quite close to Teesside.

Many of the people in the area who had their social media accounts public began to switch them over to private in order to decrease the chances that their child would be exposed to these “trolls.”

“They have been threatening one girl, messaging her from the Instagram page saying they will kill her mum,” Tait said. “My friends have restricted their accounts now.”

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Was the "Ugly Babies" Instagram account deleted and what was Facebook’s response?

A spokesperson for Facebook said that the community guidelines for the company make it clear that any form of bullying or harassment will not be tolerated. They said the “ugly babies" Instagram account violated those policies.

“This account was swiftly removed for breaking our rules on bullying and harassment,” the spokesperson said.

It is likely that the account was brought to the attention of the company due to the users on the social media platform. Tait said more than 200 people reported the account to Instagram.

Tait wasn’t the only family to have trouble with the Instagram account.

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“Don't know who’s sick enough to do this,” one mother posted on Facebook.

Another mother had pictures of their stillborn baby posted on the account and one received threats to her family via the account’s administrators.

“What's making matters worse is, we're wondering what kind of people are following this account,” Tait said. “We don't have a clue.”

How can parents protect the privacy of their kids' photos on social media?

In The United Kingdom, the government published a draft of its Online Safety Bill on Tuesday, May 11. The landmark internet safety laws are aiming to tackle issues of abusive and harmful content online. This gives Ofcom the ability to fine social media firms and to block access to sites.

Ofcom is the government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the UK.

For now, users on social media should continue to report accounts they deem are acting out of line with the policies set in place. This would make social media a safer place for everyone.

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Tomás Diniz Santos is a writer living in Orlando, Florida. He covers news, entertainment, and pop-culture topics.