Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 14:05 UK

Facebook sorry over cancer photos

Sharon Adams
Miss Adams said sufferers from around the World had made contact

Social networking site Facebook has apologised after it removed pictures of a woman who had undergone surgery for breast cancer.

The website deemed pictures of Sharon Adams, 45, from Reading, Berkshire, "sexual and abusive" and removed them.

But when a Facebook group calling for them to be allowed attracted more than 1,000 members the site backed down.

The pictures of Miss Adams' scars were re-uploaded this week. She says they are a vital tool to raise awareness.

Facebook spokesman Simon Axten explained that a mistake had been made.

He said: "We've investigated this further and determined that we made a mistake in removing these photos.

I posted them up then received a message saying they were abusive, showing nudity and sexual. I was very annoyed
Sharon Adams

"Our user operations team reviews thousands of reported photos a day and may occasionally remove something that doesn't actually violate our policies. This is what happened here. We apologise for the mistake."

Miss Adams said she wanted to post the graphic images following a mastectomy to help others in similar situations.

She said: "I wanted to do something positive out of my own situation.

"I posted them up then received a message saying they were abusive, showing nudity and sexual. I was very annoyed.

"I have had people from all over the world contact me after seeing the pictures saying how it had helped. I just wanted to show people what happened and what to expect.

"But when the campaign started and got more than 1,000 members I received a message from Facebook saying there had been a mistake and I put them back on."

Tracey Lang organised the campaign group because her aunt died from cancer at the age of 42, and one of her oldest friends has only a year to live because of the disease.

She said: "I thought it was brilliant what she was doing, raising breast cancer awareness is very important to me.

"I applaud Sharon for what she is doing; it should never have been removed from Facebook in the first place. I'm glad that they had a rethink."

Miss Adams said she was continuing to fight the condition.

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