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.

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.

Twitter reporting form

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.

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.

Got a tip for our news team? Send it to [email protected].

Photo courtesy of Natalie Weaver


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Rett Syndrome

Little Girl Looking Up

What I See When I Look at My Daughter With Rett Syndrome

When I look in to my daughter’s eyes, I see her. I mean, I really see her. Her soul is dancing. She’s leaping around listening to her favourite Vamps song. She spins as she giggles, her long hair swooshing as she turns. Her eyes light up the room as she floats from person to person, getting [...]

To Our Future President, Please Consider the Needs of Rett Syndrome Families

Dear President-elect Trump, I know you will soon be busy thinking about the economy, world conflicts, and trying to deal with all challenges your future position will ensue. But, if you could take a moment to focus on something else for a second, I would like you to make an effort to listen to those who are [...]
Melissa's niece in the pool

What Happened When I Didn’t Trust My Nonverbal Niece's Ability to Communicate

I have a back yard pool. I also have a niece with Rett Syndrome, who is nonverbal, non-ambulatory and really loves the water. Last summer we invited her and her siblings over several times to splash around and enjoy a swim. On one occasion, my niece was tired when she arrived, so we let her sleep. When she [...]

If I Could Go Back to the Moment My Child Yelled for Me at the Hospital

My daughter Ashley is 23 years old. Back when she was young, Rett syndrome was virtually unheard of. Add to that we live in a small town in a rural area. Ashley had so many misdiagnoses that to be completely honest, we went from one to the next from about 18 months old until she was [...]