Natalie with her “happy, strong little girl” (Image: Natalie Weaver/Twitter)
When Natalie Weaver saw her daughter’s image was being abused online, she did what any parent would do.
The mum-of-three went for the person responsible.
Owing to facial deformities, nine-year-old Sophia Weaver has endured countless surgeries and is also living with Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder that robbed her of her motor functions and the ability to speak.
The little girl, who is able to communicate through her eyes and with small sounds, requires constant care.
Upsettingly, having cruel comments directed towards her daughter is nothing new for Natalie.
Sophia can communicate a little with her eyes and through small sounds (Image: Natalie Weaver/Twitter)
One recent comment, however, cut particularly deep.
Following proposed changes to healthcare coverage in their area, Natalie a healthcare activist from North Carolina, started to speak out more about Sophia’s condition, CNN reports.
It was not long till this openness about Sophia’s condition attracted trolls.
“I get people telling me to kill my child, to put her out of her misery,” Natalie explains.
Then she spotted a vicious tweet, where the person had contacted her with a pro-eugenics/forced abortion message, using a picture of Sophia taken from media coverage to emphasise their point.
The Weaver’s message is clear (Image: Natalie Weaver/Twitter)
Along with an image of Sophia’s message it read:
“It is okay to think that every child matters however a lot of them do not.
“Hence the amnio test…should be a mandatory test and if it proves negative and the woman does not want to abort then all bills accrued after that is on her and the father.”
Natalie was both devastated and furious that her young daughter’s image had been used for such a horrid purpose.
However, despite reporting the tweet for its vile message, Twitter insisted it had not violated any of its terms.
“@TwitterSupport Just received an email that Twitter doesn’t think a person using my child’s image as the poster child to ABORT & to weed out all the ‘defectives’ in utero is a violation,” Weaver said via a tweet.
“Why? Bc they won’t recognize hate toward ppl w/ disabilities in their regulations/reports.”
Still, she persevered to have the tweet taken down.
Eventually Twitter issued an apology to Weaver. The person who posted the horrible tweet was suspended.
It was undoubtedly a victory, but Natalie is not stopping there.
After learning Twitter’s reporting tool does not ‘have enough space’ to include hate towards disabilities as a reason to review a tweet, she is campaigning for it to have this changed.
“Twitter needs to add people with disabilities as a category in their violation reporting,” Natalie told CNN.
“Otherwise people don’t know the appropriate category to select for hate towards people with disabilities.”