Meet The Woman Whose Face Was Banned From Facebook


There are a billion and a half people on Facebook. If it were a country it would be the largest in the world. Instead, it’s the world’s largest social experiment and in some ways, it’s failing.

One woman, who has an autoimmune disorder that affects her skin, was banned from Facebook because it would “receive high negative feedback.” Facebook also erroneously called the picture a before and after pic.

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Facebook is known for banning images, often with no rhyme or reason. Earlier in the year, a man claimed to have been banned from Facebook for posting pictures of medieval art. Why? Because it showed nipples — 15th (or thereabouts) century nipples.

Part of the problem with Facebook is that they ban pictures based on an algorithm, not based on human review. That means they make a lot of mistakes. There are a bunch of completely innocent pictures out there that were banned by Facebook because the algorithm picked something up, even though the human eye can see that they are perfectly fine. Once you are banned from Facebook, which is usually for a period ranging from hours, to a month, to permanently, there is little you can do to protest.

Forty-year-old teacher and blogger Lisa Goodman-Helmand, of Illinois, has a rare condition called scleroderma. It hardens the skin and connective tissues and can take different forms in the body. For Goodman-Helfand, it turns her skin red and blotchy. She normally covers that with makeup.

Goodman-Helfand teamed up with Chanel White, who also has the disease, but it affects her organs not her face. The two posted side by side photos with Goodman-Helfand not wearing makeup. Then, they paid $20 for a Facebook ad to raise awareness for the disorder. The photo was rejected.

This is the rejected photo, courtesy of The Mighty.

This is the rejected photo, courtesy of The Mighty.

Your ad wasn’t approved because it includes ‘before and after’ images, or other images showing unexpected or unlikely results,’ the message read, according to Daily Mail. ‘It’s also recommended that you avoid focusing on specific body parts, because these images typically receive high negative feedback.’

Goodman-Helfand replied that the photos weren’t a ‘before and after’ ad and that the images focused on a serious disease. However, she received a response from an Ad Team member who again stated that ‘before and after’ pictures were prohibited.

‘I can’t describe the emotional blow that accompanied Facebook’s rejection of my ad,’ Goodman-Helfand wrote on her blog. ‘I’ve been advised to “avoid focusing on specific body parts…” That said body part is my face.’

Source: Opposing Views

Yahoo also turned down the image, but Yahoo reviews their decisions and in this case, they approved it.

Featured image via The Mighty

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