The fundraising site GoFundMe has refused to post a picture of a premature baby because apparently they find it “offensive.” In Illinois, Jacob Hinks was born at 27 weeks (13 week early) and weighed only one pound five ounces. His parents, Christina and Jeff Hinks, set up a GoFundMe account to help with his medical bills; however, the site didn’t make his donation page available to the public and originally it was only accessible via a direct link.
Christina explained that when she brought this to their attention GoFundMe said they didn’t publish the page because Jacob’s picture was too “graphic” and could be offensive to some viewers. She explained, “They responded right away and said, ‘Unfortunately, we never published it because your son’s image [was] too graphic and too inappropriate for our viewers to look at.’”
NBC Chicago reports that Jacob’s parents said they were heartbroken that “someone, let alone a company that specializes in raising funds for these types of emergencies could be so callous and hurtful.” They added, “A preemie- born at 27 weeks gestation usually needs a breathing tube. The wires are for the heart and blood oxygen monitoring. Jacob had no open wounds, just the tube and wires. GoFundMe requested a photo of Jake and his parents side by side. There is only ONE of these photos in existence, because Jacob had been so sick- mom and dad have only held him twice.”
GoFundMe requires that campaign images must be suitable for all ages and audiences. Visitors to GoFundMe are from all walks of life with varying degrees of sensitivity, and we must ensure that all photographs in the Public Search Directory are appropriate for all audiences. All campaign organizers are held to these requirements.
It is not true that we ever took down the campaign. Even if campaigns are not listed in GoFundMe’s Public Search Directory, they are still able to receive donations. The campaign for baby Jacob was always live and able to receive donations, including the time while the original photo was up.
We wish all the best to the Hinks family during this difficult time.”
Thankfully, GoFundMe eventually posted Jacob’s picture and one of their executives donated $10,000 to his fund. Christina concluded, “I’m a mom — don’t tell me his photo is too graphic. He’s a preemie, and he’s a miracle.”
Watch the video below to learn more about Jacob’s story.