A viral photo of a woman delivering her baby in a hospital was removed from Facebook because it ran afoul of pornography rules according to reports. Dr Lin Tzu-ung of the Dianthus MFM Centre in Taipei clicked the photo of the patient in labour and had posted the image without the woman’s permission.

The photo is graphic but the patient’s arms covered her vagina. It went viral on Facebook almost immediately. “This super brave mom just delivered her own baby. Beautiful,” the doctor said in the photo caption.

The doctor said he was upset that Facebook had identified the photo as pornography.

So he posted the photo on his Instagram account, which is still available.

He addressed the issue of the photo being shocking on Instagram.

“YES, this is a ‘shocking’ picture, but that this is how we come from,” the doctor wrote. “We should always be thankful how brave of our moms and wives have been through.”

Users seem to have agreed with Facebook’s call.

“Doctor, your photo was very beautiful; it was full of love,” one user reportedly wrote. “But it was definitely too shocking — not everybody can handle that.”

Facebook and censoring

Facebook has a robust censorship policy. However it has been criticised for censoring images which are sometimes posted to raise awareness.

It banned a former fireman, who was disfigured, from sharing a photo of him. Later, it apologised for doing so. Facebook also received criticism for banning images of cancer patients who posted photos of themselves after their mastectomies. It has also banned an animated breast cancer awareness video. 

Earlier this year, a sketch of a nude woman featured on a tote bag for a group that does advocacy work for women’s advancement was banned.

Of late, Facebook has been banning women, including standup comic Marcia Belsky, from posting statements like “men are scum” on the site. These comments, says Facebook, qualify as hate speech against men. Facebook says that threats and hate speech directed towards a protected group violate its community standards and therefore are removed.

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