Friday, September 7, 2018

Facebook Apologizes to Sallisaw Couple After Banning Pictures of Native American Children

The original photo and wording that caused Facebook to ban the Davis accounts 
after being determined "sexual" in nature.

A Sallisaw couple, who have four grown children of their own and who have adopted six Native American children, were banned from Facebook earlier this week due to a photo they posted of their four Native American boys, two of whom are Cherokee and two of whom are Navaho, in Native American breechcloths.

Monty and Barbara Davis argued they are teaching, as required of adoptive parents, the children about their Native American heritage. The Davises also have adopted a 10-year-old Cherokee girl and a 4-year-old Navaho girl who are the sisters of the boys.

In messages to the Davises, Facebook suggested the photo was sexual and did not meet Facebook’s Community Standards.

Facebook had not returned a phone call from KXMX by publication time.

The photo features the four boys, ages 3, 6, 6 and 7 in breechcloths, with Native American tools, including a spirit rattle, bow, tomahawk and blow gun.

The first time Barbara Davis posted the photo, Facebook removed it and sent the warning message. The second time, Facebook shut down her account.

The Facebook message to Davis relates the website does not "allow offers of sexual services, solicitation of sexual material, threats to share intimate images or any sexual content involving minors. We understand that you may not have known about these standards, so we'd encourage you to learn more about our policies on sexual exploitation and violence."

After Davis attempted to post the picture a second time, she was kicked off of the site. On Thursday, Facebook also shut down Monty Davis’ account.

Barbara Davis argued that Facebook was being discriminatory.

“You see way worse on Facebook,” she said. “We were shocked that a picture of these kids in historically correct regalia got us banned. It blew our minds. They sexualized this photo. There’s nothing sexual about it at all.”

Davis said she tried to appeal Facebook’s decision on the Facebook website, but originally all she got was an error message.

“Between these six children, they have spent a total of 18 years in foster care,” Davis said. “We are proud of them. Part of our agreement with the Cherokee Nation is to teach them about their heritage. We celebrate them.”

Davis' friends began spreading the word across Facebook about what was going on and media began reaching out to the family also. On Friday Davis received an email from Facebook apologizing and restoring the account. 

Facebook stated that they "made a mistake and removed something you posted on Facebook that didn't go against our Community Standards. We want to apologize and let you know that we've restored your content and removed any blocks on your account related to this incorrect action."

Davis is hoping the publicity may help educate Facebook about Native American heritage.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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1 comment:

  1. facebook has just blocked and gave me a warning about sharing your post about this on facebook for sexual content


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