Bathtime lands mum in hot water

It’s a picture most parents would cherish. You can almost hear mum saying: “Here they are, they loved that first bubble bath together. We couldn’t get them out.”

Innocent enough? Not any more. Especially if parents share such magical moments on social media.

That was the experience of Joyce Schafer who posted the picture of Alexander, then aged 2, and Ariana, aged 17 months, to her circle of 400 Facebook friends in April.

It seems, however, that one of those friends decided the image was inappropriate and alerted Facebook. Facebook agreed.

Ms Schafer, from Townsville, said: “My account was blocked by Facebook and I was told, to get my access back, I needed to remove the offending photographs.

“I was pretty upset. It was just the kids in the bath. My account can only be seen by my friends and the photos can’t be shared.

“The picture is on Instagram and they haven’t been removed from there. Either nobody reported them or Instagram is a bit more open.”

But Instagram has similar policies.

The picture of a child, lifting her top to show off her round tummy, posted on Instagram by her mother, led to the account being deactivated.

Courtney Adamo from London, who runs an online children’s boutique, posted the image of her daughter, 19-month-old Marlow.

Then the mother of four was sent an email from Instagram, which reportedly said the image “violated community guidelines”.

When the media found out she got lots of publicity, and her Instagram account, which is linked to her business website, gained more than 4000 followers.

When asked about the bath-time picture, Facebook referred to its community standards on nudity and pornography.

It states: “Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.”

A spokeswoman for the company said: “Facebook is a global site and, as such, we have to operate global policies. We impose limitations on displays of nudity and are particularly sensitive where a minor is involved. Our policies are designed to strike a balance between giving people the ability to express themselves and maintaining a safe and trusted environment. We remove any content reported to us that violates these policies.”

Ms Schafer said her Facebook had been restored. “I am very careful about the things I post. Now I just email photos to individual family members.”

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