Former Corporal Andy Reid from St Helens, England, became a triple-amputee when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded while he was on patrol in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province in 2009, taking away his two legs and right arm. Following his long recovery, the father-of-one posted the photo of his stump on Facebook with the caption “hard work on the legs today”.
Now Facebook’s site communities team has taken down the image after a user complained about it. The action was confirmed by Deborah Risbridger, a spokeswoman for the Facebook page of Pilgrim Bandits, a charity which takes injured troops on excursions, to which the photo was linked. Ms. Risbridger said that Facebook had taken the photo down because it was deemed “offensive”.
As others have noted, Facebook removed the image, even though t it does not ban violent videos, such as beheadings. Mr. Reid was disappointed by the decision. He told The Sun:
It’s just a picture of my leg at the end of the day. What’s offensive about it? This is nowhere near as offensive as some of the pictures spreading from Islamic State fighters. What’s the difference between me without my leg on and pictures of what’s going in Gaza?
Facebook operates a system in which any user can “report” content which they find explicit or offensive. It is then flagged up to their communities team which decide whether it should be removed. Scroll down for Facebook’s take on the issue.
1. Former Corporal Andy Reid from St. Helens, England.
A Facebook spokesman said:
Our experts work quickly and efficiently to review every report. Occasionally they make a mistake. In this case the photograph was incorrectly removed and as soon as we were made aware, we re-published it.
Still, how can such a mistake be made in the first place?
2. Mr. Reid (pictured at Camp Bastion in 2009) said the decision by Facebook to remove the photo of the stump was ‘harsh and narrow-minded’.
3. Corporal Reid talks to Prince Charles after winning the overcoming adversity award at the ‘Millies’ in 2010.
4. Corporal Reid stepped on a landmine while out on patrol in Helmand Province in October 2009.
5. Mr. Reid today.
6. The father-of-one posted this picture of his “stump” with the caption “hard work on the legs today”.
7. The hero was introduced to the Queen at the ‘Not Forgotten’ Association Garden Party in 2009.
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