Natalie Weaver Asks Twitter to Change Its Reporting Policies After an Offensive Image of Her Daughter Was Shared
Months ago, disability advocate Natalie Weaver was sent a tweet that used her daughter’s image to promote abortion. Her daughter, Sophia, has Rett syndrome and facial differences.
When Weaver saw the photo, her heart dropped, she told The Mighty. Though she blocked the account using the photo, it was recently brought to her attention that the photo was still being circulated and was the pinned tweet on the account’s profile.
“I decided enough was enough,” Weaver said. “He is not using my daughter’s image in that hateful way.”
So Weaver and others began reporting the tweet to Twitter on Saturday. On Monday, Twitter responded that the tweet did not violate its rules and regulations. Then, after reviewing the tweet again, Twitter suspended the person who posted the photo and apologized for its error.
Thank you @TwitterSupport & @jack for listening! The account that was using my daughter's image has been suspended! Thank you to the thousands of people who reported this & supported us! Thank you for taking a stand against hate! pic.twitter.com/77jPFljYPs
— Natalie Weaver (@Nataliew1020) January 22, 2018
Weaver’s fight wasn’t over. Julie Ross, a fellow disability advocate, tweeted at Weaver that Twitter does not include hate against people with disabilities in the form users fill out when reporting a tweet.
While hateful content that targets people with disabilities is not included in Twitter’s reporting form, it is included in the social media platform’s hate conduct policy.
“You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease,” the policy states.
Both Weaver and The Mighty have reached out to Twitter about the discrepancy between its policy and how offensive content is reported and have yet to hear back.
While some are turning Weaver’s story into a political one about abortion, Weaver said her mission was to stop a “pro-eugenics creep” as well as address Twitter’s policy issues.
I had 2 goals for sharing my story publicly:
1. Get the pro-eugenics creep who was using Sophias image suspended
2. Get twitter to include disabilities in their violation reporting
Media outlets are spinning the story to fit their political agenda & to create more division???????? pic.twitter.com/2tsL7GVCpr
— Natalie Weaver (@Nataliew1020) January 24, 2018
Weaver said she’s received hateful messages from people based on the political angle of the story, but it hasn’t dissuade her from petitioning Twitter to better protect those with disabilities.
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Photo courtesy of Natalie Weaver