Friday, April 17, 2015

Breast Practices? Hello Facebook, Listen Up!

I carry the BRCA2 genetic mutation. I am, as well as millions of others worldwide, genetically predisposed to have breast and/or ovarian cancer. Additionally, both men and women have a higher risk of pancreatic and colon cancers and melanoma. 2007 I was one of probably 1000's of women globally who underwent mastectomies to save their lives. Before Rita, before Angelina, before anyone thought much of Facebook as a support system. 

Up until now, there were forums through very few organizations that we could express ourselves. Thank goodness for FORCE, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered ( There, we could express our concerns, our joys, our anxieties. Even at their website, there were precious few examples of these surgeries to view. I found consolation and hope there. But what about real life photos in real time where it could be discussed?

Enter Facebook and the ability to have closed, private groups. Plus the policy that allowed photos of breastfeeding AND mastectomies. In case you didn't know, even though the one group that has over 4,500 members in their closed, private status, there are pictures that get reported as inappropriate. 

BRCA Sisterhood was created to be a safe haven to express ourselves and get help during these tragic times. How do we do we accomplish this without putting our own photos out there? In 2007, I wish I had that ability to take a photo and ask other BRCA mutants, "What is that?!"  For some reason, even after been presented with rules and guidelines of the group, some photos are reported, by our own group members! The result is that the Facebook and Group member is prevented from posting at all. 

Now you tell me, Facebook police, how will that member be able to take solace being placed in "jail" so to speak. You have just dashed any spark of light from this woman who was reaching out. Facebook has just denied its own policies because it's being run by robots. Where is the human interaction that is required to review these images? 

I'm saddened and dismayed that Facebook has been so reduced to a jumble of 1's and 0's like any other computer program. In these cases, I think there MUST be human intercession. 

We need more people to write about this problem. Protest! Shout out! Have my blog post and others go viral! 

Thank you! 💐

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