real life

'My sister refused to delete a photo of me, so I reported her to Facebook.'

In my mind, I’m not a particularly precious person. In fact, I’d go so far as to call myself a good sport. But after my older sister posted an unflattering photo of me to Facebook and ignored my countless requests to remove it last month, something inside of me snapped.

And so I reported her to Facebook for violating community guidelines. Four weeks on, I still don’t regret it.

Before you go thinking I’m a ridiculous drama queen, let me explain a few things.

reporting a family member to facebook
Waking up to an unflattering image being shared with hundreds of friends was not what I expected. Image: iStock

The photo in question was taken at my cousin's wedding in February. It was a beautiful, romantic day, filled with memories that I will carry with me to old age and lots of dancing. But it was also hot, sweaty and long. And a photo taken by my cousin's new husband 12 hours into their celebration shows that all over my face.

I look tired and messy. Like I'd eaten too much cake and needed to be put into a taxi sooner rather than later. It was an unflattering photo, plain and simple. So when it popped up on my Facebook feed the next morning I was surprised.

Why would anyone ever want to post such an awful photo of someone? It's not like it was a group photo and it was only me who looked bad, it was just me and my sister. And after 32 years of being related to one another, I feel as though we have our fair share of photos together. What's the world really missing with one less?

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Seeking answers, I called my sister. I left her voicemails. I texted her and sent her private messages. I could see that she had read and received my communications. But for some sadistic reason that could only make sense in the mind of an older sibling, she decided to ignore me.


And ignore me some more.

And continue to ignore me for three days.

Sure, I untagged myself, but given how many mutual friends we have, I can only imagine how many people had seen something I didn't want them to.

Refusing to speak to me or take the image down, I got sick of it and decided to go with the only option I had left - reporting her and the image to Facebook.

In my complaint, I explained that as the subject of the image, I felt that I have some right to consent to the image appearing and due to my inability to contact the poster of the photo I was now exercising my last available option.

I was in limbo for two days before Facebook administrators got back to me and told me that they had removed the image. It was another two days until my sister finally contacted me.

reporting a family member to facebook
Despite calls, texts and messages, my sister continued to ignore me. Source: iStock.

She called me superficial and told me to learn how to lighten up. That I shouldn't care about one bad photo or the fact that it was shared on social media. That I needed to be able to take a joke and not take myself so seriously.

That last line alone made me feel good about my decision and realise that as petty as it may have been, I don't regret reporting her. In fact, should the situation arise again in the future, I'd probably do it again.

Do you think the writer was right to report her sister?