Facebook has apologised after removing a photo of a burns survivor, on more than one occasion.
The social networking site repeatedly censored a photo of Swedish former fireman Lasse Gustavson, who was left with severe facial scarring after tackling a fire in his twenties.
Gustavson’s friend, Bjorn Lindeblad, posted the photo of the now 60-year-old to wish him a happy birthday, but was shocked when Facebook removed it.
Lindeblad reposted the image, only for Facebook to remove it for a second time.
In response, Lindeblad wrote a passionate status asking members of the public to spread the photo, which has now been shared more than 10,000 times.
Lindeblad urged members of the public to show their support for Gustavson, calling his friend “one of the most beautiful souls”.
His post, translated, said: “Facebook has removed the image without explanation twice already. And then threw me out of Facebook. I did nothing.”
He added that several people with burns scars had contacted him, claiming that “burn victims [are] often categorised in the same category as sexist and racist pictures on Facebook”.
“So let’s let Facebook know what we think of that policy by spreading this picture,” he said.
Lindeblad’s status was soon shared more than 10,000 times and Facebook contacted him to apologise for the initial censorship.
A Facebook spokesperson told The Huffington Post UK that the post had been removed in error. The spokesperson added that the company had since been in touch with Lindeblad to apologise
Speaking to The Telegraph, Gustavson said he didn’t let the saga ruin his birthday.
“When I was 24, I probably would have felt offended and upset that pictures of me were considered wrong and unpleasant,” he said.
“It is a very volatile and sensitive time... but now I have lived so long with my burns.”