Woman says she was forced to remove photos of her son competing in Special Olympics

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POSTED: Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 4:04pm

A Charlotte, North Carolina mother says Facebook asked her to remove pictures of her son taking part in a Special Olympics.

Diana Cornwell says the message she received from Facebook mentions violating and asks her not to upload pictures which include hate speech, support for violent organizations or include threats to harm others.

Her account has been blocked for three days as a result.

Cornwell says the pictures show nothing more than her son having a great time.

"He struggles with Down's Syndrome. He's seven years old and he doesn't speak," Cornwell said about her son Cole.

Cole was all smiles Friday while taking part in his first Special Olympics at a local high school.

She took pictures of him whenever she could.

"A very proud moment for him," she said.

Cornwell uploaded the pictures to Facebook Friday night.

There were 40 pictures in a new album.

Cornwell logged into Facebook Sunday for another look.

This is the message she received:

"Never upload any photos that contain hate speech, support for violent organizations or threats to harm others," Cornwell said while reading off her computer screen.

"There were a lot of special needs kids having a blast, playing games and receiving commendations for what they accomplished that day," Cornwell said.

Cornwell said "remove" checkmarks were by every picture she uploaded.

She removed one, Cole with a scarecrow, just to see what would happen.

She got a "thank you" for removing pictures that violate Facebook terms and her account blocked for three days for uploading it in the first place.

"To flag an entire album and Facebook just to write it off as no big deal and allow it to be flagged and told to remove pictures just astounds me," Cornwell said.

Cornwell said she doesn't know if Facebook flagged the pictures, or if someone else did and Facebook picked up on it.

She says she didn't get a notice before her account was blocked.

Either way, Cornwell says if Facebook looked at the pictures, they'd see what she does.

"All the kids were having a great time," she said. "Can't help but fall in love."

Facebook has not responded to calls asking about why the photos were flagged.

Cornwell's account is still locked.

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