Photo of Dad and Son Sparks Controversy


We’ve all been there as parents…your child is sick and you will do anything to make them feel better again. Parenting is hardly ever glamorous, and often calls us to do unsightly chores like cleaning up poop and vomit; leaving us looking (and feeling) like zombies the day after.  With social media now at our fingertips, parents everywhere often share some of these moments through photographs.



Such was the case when this photo was taken.  Photographer Heather Whitten’s little boy named Fox was very ill. He had a bad virus and had been throwing up and suffering from diarrhea and a fever when Heather’s husband scooped him up to clean him and joined him in the shower for comfort.  The end result with this memory of a daddy cuddling his little boy across his lap. Many of us probably have similar memories, although not posted on social media for all to see.  Whitten chose to share it on Facebook.

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In the original post Whitten wrote:

“I was just overwhelmed with the scene in front of me. This man. This husband and partner and father. He was so patient and so loving and so strong with our tiny son in his lap. His whispers of reassurance to Fox, that he would be OK and that Thomas would take care of him were so steady and so honest.”

The post and photograph went viral, with thousands of likes, comments and shares.  Some parents appreciating the picture for what it was meant as – a testament of a father’s love for his child, and others offended by the amount of nudity and what they considered “oversharing”.

Facebook couldn’t decide how they felt about it. It was allowed up, then taken down, then allowed up again. Although the photo gained more than 130,000 likes and was shared over 31,000 times, Facebook removed it, claiming that the photo violated its rules, which prohibit photos and videos “ containing drug use, graphic content or nudity.” After the photo went viral, however, Facebook reinstated it.

Interesting how that works.

It’s quite confusing when Facebook allows half naked photos of celebrities and models, but still bans certain breastfeeding photos, and occasionally photos like this – a tender family moment. How much is too much when it comes to what we post to Facebook? Is it ok to post sexually suggestive photos of attractive people, but then shame tender moments like this between a father and his child?

We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. What do you think?


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