Gold Coast women’s cancer support group fed up with Facebook privacy rules

A determined group of Gold Coast women are fed up with Facebook tearing down their supportive breast cancer content, and are calling for an end to it.

The Women’s Cancer Support GC group is a private forum on Facebook, which has almost 300 members who support, encourage and educate each other through their cancer struggles.

Nicole Drummond has become the most recent member to be banned from Facebook, for sharing an important article about a procedure known as ‘diep flap’.


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“I was sharing a link from breastcancer.org about reconstruction, and there were pictures of pre and post surgery, which just so happened to show a breast,” Ms Drummond told myGC.

“It was a link, it was a really great resource, to show that this is what happens when you have a diep flap – where they use your stomach to make a new breast.

“I wouldn’t have known what that looks like, so it’s really good to see that and say ‘yeah okay, it’s going to look normal’, and then you might want to look further into it.

“But when it constantly gets taken down – and it’s automatic, like I put a post up and straight away I get a warning, and this time I got banned,” Ms Drummond told myGC.

It’s not the first time that valuable information has been removed from their group, just because of some of the photos used.

“Pictures of breast cancer reconstructions, pictures of women who’ve had radiation and have severe burns and want to know if other women have had this happen…

“You know, what can we do to make it more bearable so that they can move and sleep,” Ms Drummond said.

Other members of the group have rallied around Nicole, coming out to protest outside Screen Queensland in Southport today and get their voices heard.

They’re hoping Facebook can immediately review it’s rules around sensitive posts, so that they can better help each other through what is an already difficult experience.

“We would love to be able to post the pictures that we need to post and the links that we need as our resources and not be banned for doing.

“It’s freedom of information, and to be automatically shutdown by Facebook is not good enough,” Ms Drummond said.

Facebook says that its nudity policy has become more ‘nuanced’ over time, and recognises that sometimes within the right context, pictures depicting a nipple can be used.

“We understand that nudity can be shared for a variety of reasons, including as a form of protest, to raise awareness about a cause, or for educational or medical reasons.

“Where such intent is clear, we make allowances for the content.

“For example, while we restrict some images of female breasts that include the nipple, we allow other images, including those depicting acts of protest, women actively engaged in breast-feeding, and photos of post-mastectomy scarring.

“We also allow photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures,” their community standards read.

But Nicole says when she tried to take the matter further, she wasn’t allowed the chance to explain her case.

“It’s automatic, so I put a link up and basically straight away I got a warning and it was two days later I got banned.

“It says do you want to review the decision, and you click yes, and it says because of Covid we can’t do that sorry, and then it can’t go any further.

“And if you do take it further and dig a little deeper into Facebook a bit deeper and find a different route to take, it still pops up saying ‘no sorry you cant do this’,” Ms Drummond said.

Facebook has been contacted for comment.

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