Sunday, August 09, 2015

The Woman That Facebook Censored : Mom With Rare Skin Condition Told She Can't Post Photo Because it Might Receive "High Negative "Feedback'"

It's now common knowledge that Facebook uses "selective" censorship, deleting images that already meet "guidelines" while allowing porn to be published as long as it is "politically correct" and submitted by Facebook approved perverts; Facebook has locked the accounts of The 5th Estate and continues to deny access to delete despite verification using already confirmed passwords and phone numbers      

By Erica Tempesta

A woman who suffers from a painful condition that leaves her skin covered in red blotches bravely decided to share an inspirational picture of her bare face for the first time - only to have Facebook tell her that the image would receive "high negative feedback."

Lisa Goodman-Helfand, 40, a teacher and blogger from the Chicago area, was diagnosed with scleroderma, an autoimmune disease characterized by the hardening of the skin and connective tissues, when she was 10-years-old. 

Symptoms of the chronic condition vary from person to person, but for Lisa it means her face is covered with raw, red blotches, which she usually covers with make-up. 

But after connecting with fellow blogger and scleroderma sufferer Chanel White, whose face remains pristine as the disease hardens her organs, the mother-of-two was ready to share the image of her bare face for the first time. As a reminder that you should never judge a book by its cover, Lisa posted a side-by-side image of her and Chanel on Facebook, however, when she went to promote the article with a $20 ad, she received an automated message saying the photo had been rejected.

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

Censored by Facebook: Lisa Goodman-Helfand
After reviewing Facebook's policies, Lisa responded by explaining that she is trying to raise awareness for scleroderma, noting that the two pictures represent the different ways the disease affects patients. 

'This is not a “before and after” type ad,' she wrote. 'It is a serious article on a serious disease.' The effects of the disease can range from very mild to life-threatening depicting on which parts of the body are affected, and Lisa told Daily Mail Online that she wanted her picture with Chanel to show that 'you don't know what someone else is going through'.

She explained that, to a stranger, she may look ill, but she is relatively healthy on the inside, while Chanel appears to be the picture of health in her photos, but in reality her battle with scleroderma is affecting her organs and leaves her unable to eat. 

'Chanel, she would trade places with me in a millisecond,' Lisa said of the variations of their disease. 'I can put make-up on and walk out the door every day and live my life.' 

Despite her explanation, Lisa received another message, this time from 'Rachel' from the Facebook Ad Team, she was once again told that 'before and after' images weren't allowed.

'I can’t describe the emotional blow that accompanied Facebook’s rejection of my ad,' she wrote on her blog, noting: 'I’ve been advised to “avoid focusing on specific body parts, because these images typically receive high negative feedback". That said body part is my face.'

'Does anyone else see the irony in my face violating Facebook’s ad policy?' she asked. 'Would my scleroderma-ravaged elbows, or fingers have been less offensive?'

Lisa shared her story with Yahoo Canada, and when the outlet contacted Facebook her ad request was later approved. However, when she went to boost the Yahoo article about her story with an ad that too was denied. 

The writer told Daily Mail Online that if Yahoo didn't intervene, the story would have most likely ended with her crying in her bathroom. 

Nothing to hide: Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease characterized by the hardening of the skin and connective tissues, and Lisa uses make-up to cover the red blotches on her face

Lisa, who uses make-up to cover the blotches on her skin, never shared a photo of her bare skin before she posted the image of her an Chanel. 

'This is the first time I have ever publicly shared a photo of my bare face,' she wrote on her blog. 'Some have warned me against doing so, saying the internet trolls are going to have a field day. I am putting my faith in humanity and hoping this will get more positive reactions than negative.' 

Lisa told Daily Mail Online that she received a 'tremendous' amount of love and support, noting that the article was shared 600 times. 

She explained that no one knew she was going to do it, not even her husband David, because she knew they would try to talk her out of it out of fear that she would get hurt by online bullies. 

Publishing porn is just fine for selected Facebook users, but when it comes down to those nasty, inconvenient reminders of the real world out there Facebook wants nothing to do with it

However, acquaintances, former classmates, and even an old boyfriend responded kindly to her post, and more importantly strangers around the world connected with her message. It was that outpouring of positivity that inspired her to expand the reach of her message with a Facebook ad in the first place. 

'I am not out wage war against Facebook,' Lisa explained. 'I want to use the tools of Facebook to launch my campaign [Face Off For Scleroderma] worldwide.'

In order to kick start her campaign, Lisa is asking people to take bare faced selfies of themselves on Sunday and share them on social media using the #sclerodermaselfies. Proceeds from her campaign will be distributed evenly between the Scleroderma Research Foundation and the Scleroderma Foundation

And while Lisa never had any intention of publicly battling Facebook, she said her struggle with the social networking site is inadvertently helping her raise awareness.

Raising awareness: The 40-year-old from the Chicago suburbs, who is pictured with her husband David, wanted to promote the image with a Facebook ad because people were connecting with her message

'This is getting more exposure for my disease than I would have ever gotten with a $20 Facebook ad,' she noted. 

Lisa revealed that she had shared the image of her bare face with major magazines while pitching her story because it is an 'attention getter', however, she was often told that her story was 'not the right fit' or 'would not appeal to readers'.

'I thought this was a story that would resonate with people,' she explained, noting that she believes the rejections were based on the fact that they don't want to 'promote ugliness in a beauty magazine'.

Lisa finally decided that it was up to her tell her own story. She posted the photo of her and Chanel just a few weeks just before the launch of her campaign and the release of her e-book Does This Hospital Gown Come With Sequins?, which tells the story of her near-death experience after the birth of her second child.

A portion of all proceeds from book sales will be donated to the Scleroderma Research Foundation and the Scleroderma Foundation, but Lisa ultimately wants to use her activism to show children that they can take a negative situation and turn it into a positive one. 

Lisa has the famous Wayne Gretzky quote, 'You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don't take' hanging in her classroom, and that is the message she wants to share with the world. 

'Everyone needs to take their best shot and if you get rejected you get rejected,' she explained. 

As for Facebook, Lisa said she would love to talk to an executive about the company re-examining the language used when referencing body parts in automated messages to 'bring back an element of humanity'. 

Get the monkey off your back: Kick the Facebook habit

She would also like to see people who contested ad content twice be able to speak with an 'actual human' the third time around.

And if Facebook wants to make its previous rejections of her photos up to her, she would really love if they created a feature that would allow users to put a teal overlay over their profile pictures because it is the color of scleroderma.

Daily Mail Online has contacted Facebook for comment.

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