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Breast cancer tattoo photos lead to Facebook expulsion

Tribune News Service

ST. LOUIS – Facebook says it made a mistake in disabling the accounts of an artist who posted images of tattoos that she created for breast cancer survivors following reconstruction.

“A member of our team accidentally removed something you posted on Facebook. This was a mistake, and we sincerely apologize for they error,” the social media site said in a message to Kerry Soraci. “We’ve since restored the content, and you should now be able to see it.”

The note came after a story about Soraci’s accounts was posted on St. Louis Post-Dispatch website Thursday afternoon, which launched other media inquiries into why Facebook took the action it did.

“It is really annoying that we have to go through the media to get them to respond!” Sorachi told the Post-Dispatch Friday morning.

Facebook had disabled Soraci’s page, Tattoos by Kerry Soraci, on Dec. 30, saying it did not meet the social media site’s “community standards.”

“Your account has been disabled for not following the Facebook Community Standards, and we won’t be able to reactivate it,” Facebook’s Steven Parker wrote in a response to Soraci. “We disable accounts that solicit others or feature content that is sexually suggestive/contains nudity.”

In addition, Soraci’s personal Facebook page had been shut down as had the page for her other businesses, I Scream Cakes and Kaleidoscope Ceilings, because she is the administrator of those pages as well. All of her pages were up and running Friday.

“I don’t understand this as the consequence for something so helpful,” Soraci told the Post-Dispatch on Thursday. The newspaper did a feature on Soraci’s work in October.

Soraci said she has had run-ins with Facebook before, but they would get resolved.

“Every once in a while, someone would report me and (Facebook) would pull a couple pictures and give me a warning,” Soraci wrote on a new Facebook page she created under the name Lorry Smaci.

“I would write something to them, and things would be restored and back to normal. Not this time.”

On her new Facebook page, she also shared the appeal she made to Facebook after her pages were disabled.

She said the photos she shares to promote her business and educate women on post-surgery options “are no more sexually explicit than the ‘before’ pictures of the mastectomy scars that you do allow. I understand that some people look at (Facebook) whilst at work and don’t want what looks like nipples to pop up in their feed, but, could you not simply recommend that they stop following me instead of continuing to harass me and deny my clients such easy access to multiple examples of my work?”

She also told Facebook that she would limit posting of her photos to the comment section “thereby avoiding the surprise pop-ups.”

Soraci shared her frustration with Facebook on her Lorry Smaci page earlier this week.

By late Thursday, Soraci was back in business.

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