Why Instagram Deleted This Mom's Photo Of Her Son With A Disability — Twice

Here's how people fought to right this wrong.

Last updated on Sep 18, 2023

Woman upset near her computer with her hands tossed in the air fizkes | Canva

By Murphy Moroney

Charlie Beswick, a mother of twin boys, has an Instagram account for the same reason most mamas do — to show friends and family what her brood is up to in pictures.

But after a few months of regularly posting photos, Beswick got an unpleasant surprise: Instagram had removed an image of her son, Harry, who has Goldenhar syndrome, a rare condition where his eye, eye socket, nostril, and ear don't develop correctly . . . for the second time in nearly a month. 


Why Instagram deleted this mom's photo of her son with a disability — twice.

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"My initial reaction was shock at first, a bit [of confusion], and I thought there must have been an error," Beswick told POPSUGAR.


"I was shocked. I was really, really angry and furious. It's not the first time. There was another image removed in August. This being the second time, the second image was taken down on Tuesday, Sept. 11, I took to Twitter because I was outraged."

After receiving a message from Instagram notifying Beswick that the first photo of Harry didn't "meet the community guidelines" in August, she went through the proper channels to talk to a company representative about the reason why a photo of her son with disabilities was removed.

However, she never got a response. 

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"You'll see on my Instagram account I've posted hundreds of photos of Harry and Oliver, his twin brother, but the two images I posted where he doesn't have his prosthetic eye in were reported, and taken down," explained Beswick. "As much as I'm annoyed someone would report my son's face, I'm more outraged that Instagram would condone that kind of discrimination."


Given the radio silence Beswick got the first time around from Instagram, she expressed her anger on Twitter and got a much different reaction:

Her tweet has gotten over 122,800 retweets and 75,000 favorites, prompting Instagram to finally respond. 

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"Everybody was outraged, they restored the second image in about four or five hours, and they restored the original photo from August a few days later," said Beswick.

"The support was incredible and overwhelming," said Beswick.

"It wasn't what I expected. I was hoping that Instagram would at least listen. It really restores your faith in each other and humankind. As much as one or two people reported the image, it reaffirms your faith that the trolls and people who discriminate [against Harry] are the minority."


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Murphy Moroney is a former associate editor at PopSugar. She has appeared in MSN (US), MSN India, MSN Philippines, Yahoo News UK, Yahoo and more.