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Photo Of Breast Cancer Survivor's Inked Chest Goes Viral After Facebook Tries To Ban It

on February 20, 2013 2:16 AM EST 0

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Facebook's attempts to ban the photo of a cancer survivor's tattooed chest from circulating on its network kickstarted the Streisand effect, resulting in the picture being shared by hundreds of thousands of Facebook users. (Photo: Reuters)

Facebook has strict policies on the amount of flesh users can expose in the photos they post. So when Lee Roller of Ontario-based Custom Tattoo Design posted a photo of cancer survivor Inga Duncan Thornell's inked chest, the social networking site decided to take down the picture.

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But what Facebook did not expect was the number of people who would oppose its move, pointing out the photo was not offensive. Roller too re-posted the photo asking people to spread awareness on breast cancer by liking and sharing the picture.

"This Tattoo was done for a woman who had breast cancer! Facebook keeps removing the post in 24hour as an offensive photo do to nudity," the message reads. "However we feel this woman is both brave and strong so were going to post it anyways and ask for your awareness and support; please like and share this photo quickly to show your support for this and many other women who have lost so much."

Since then, more than 19,000 people have commented on the photo, and it has been shared and liked by a hundred thousand users. A number of users pointed out that by getting a tattoo done, the cancer survivor transformed a negative into a positive.

One comment read: "I do not find this picture offensive in the least. Having a double mastectomy because of cancer can be extremely devastating, especially in a society where one is only considered a 'real woman' if her breasts walk in the door before she does. This artwork that was done, I think, is a way of turning something terrible into something more positive and beautiful."

Facebook has since informed Roller that the picture would not be removed, but he told the Huffington Post that several independent users have asked him to take down the photograph as they found it offensive.

"I have firmly let them know we will not remove the photo and in most cases I have removed these individuals from our site."

This is not the first time Facebook is under fire for removing photographs related to breast cancer. Several users have taken it upon themselves to fight against Facebook's policies since then. "Stop Facebook deleting our cancer photos in our cancer groups," is one such group that was launched by cancer survivor Melissa Ann Tullett whose Facebook account was deactivated after she posted a picture of her reconstructed breast on her wall.

The group currently has over 540 members supporting its cause.

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