Facebook deletes yet another breastfeeding support group and suspends another page for posting acceptable photos, Nurse-in planned in Australia

Apparently Facebook has been extra naughty this year, pissing off New Zealand, Australian, and American mothers with censorship, group deletions, and page banning this month alone. The social networking service has hit the headlines in New Zealand for deleting another support group for nursing mothers, Mummy Matters group. Multiple mothers of the 3,500 member strong group were also suspended for sharing breastfeeding photos. According to the Otago Daily News, a member of the Mummy Matters group, Renee Lyons, posted on Friday that her breastfeeding picture was removed, her account suspended and she was reported for having a scam or fake profile. This follows the deletion of another entire breastfeeding support group of 5,000+ members in October of this year. Facebook denies censorship of photos on the Mummy Matters group.

Mothers in Australia are also feeling the discrimination. A nurse-in is scheduled for next month after a mother was censored from Facebook in South Burnett. Breastfeeding supporters plan to meet at Kingaroy Shoppingworld on January 5th to support the mother, Stacey Turcan, who had her breastfeeding photos removed from her Facebook page. Those that cannot attend will be changing their profile photos to nursing photos in an international virtual nurse-in.

In America, Abby, known as the Badass Breastfeeder, received a 30-day ban for sharing this poster on Facebook.

 

Why? Breastfeeding photos are supposed to be welcomed. This poster doesn’t violate their terms at all, which state only a fully-exposed breast where the child is not actively nursing violates their terms.

This was the notice she received:

Interesting that on the main Community Standards page, Facebook states this:

“Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.

When is enough enough? What about this poster violates Facebook’s terms? Can you figure it out?

Join the conversation on Facebook or comment below!

 

Details on the last two nurse-ins:

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The Facebook hypocrisy continues: Breastfeeding Images and Page Admins Banned

This just in: Facebook is continuing to unabashedly and unapologetically delete more breastfeeding photos in addition to banning breastfeeding appreciation and support page admins for sharing perfectly acceptable images.

Beautiful Breastfeeding reported on the discrimination today on Facebook.

“I thought I should let you know what’s happening behind the scenes at Beautiful Breastfeeding. A few days ago a nasty guy took a dislike to our photos and decided to band together with his friends on a reporting rampage. Consequently 4 of our photos were removed and a few of the admins here were banned for 30 days. We’ve emailed FB but haven’t received a reply. I’ll be putting together a letter to send to media sites, and anyone willing to repost the story. – Cherie”

What images were banned? These ones.

Do you see any nipple flashing without a baby feeding? Nope? Me neither.

Why would Facebook side with trolls over their own community standards and breastfeeding photo policy?

Join the conversation on Facebook or comment below!

 

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Breastfeeding Banished from Facebook Again

Isn’t this a lovely moment of motherhood to capture and share with the world? I most certainly think so. I absolutely love seeing beautiful breastfeeding portraits like this and sharing my own. I spend my days and sleepless nights with a baby at the breast, reading about other mothers and their experiences raising their children, some of them tandem nursing just like me and the mother in the photo above. Breastfeeding is one of the most basic parts of raising a human that should be remembered and appreciated, a part that we should all be proud of. But apparently, this snapshot of a mother nurturing her children was too much for Facebook and they have deemed it unacceptable.

What happened?

I shared this photograph, a tandem nursing portrait by Belle Verdiglione Photography, a little earlier this evening on my blog’s Facebook page after I found it on Birth Without Fear’s Facebook page. Later on in the evening when I checked my wall, I found that the photo was deleted from my page and from Birth Without Fear’s page and everyone who had shared it. Why? Because Facebook banned it.

BWF just posted this comment on the deletion, “Oh FB, removing a nursing photo and blocking someone for 24 hours for sharing said nursing photo, kinda violates your own policy. I thought we had come so far….very disappointed.”

What is Facebook’s policy on breastfeeding photos? This is word for word their policy:

Does Facebook allow photos of mothers breastfeeding? Yes. We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful, and we’re very glad to know that it is important for mothers to share their experiences with others on Facebook.found online here

Is deleting another breastfeeding portrait really a big deal? Actually yes, yes it is. Just as the bullies who harass mothers and children who are breastfeeding in public are breaking the law and common decency, Facebook is bullying mothers online by sending the message that these images are obscene. Facebook is in charge of making sure errors like this, deletion of images they say are specifically allowed, don’t keep happening, ensuring that women are not degraded for sharing breastfeeding portraits and prohibited from participating in critical parenting and breastfeeding support systems online. But incidents like this keep on happening. Mothers and support pages, even the New Yorker magazine, are told they are breaking community standards and are kicked off for days, weeks, months, and threatened with permanent deletion over images like this, images Facebook says they support.

When will Facebook fix their broken censoring system? When will the shaming of breastfeeding mothers stop?

 

***UPDATE***

There was an international virtual nurse-in to support breastfeeding mothers who have had their pages banned and photos deleted, like Belle Verdiglione Photography and Birth Without Fear, on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013. Thousands of mothers and supporters participated. See the Facebook photo nurse-in event page for details. This event was held at just about a year past the big in person nurse-in at Facebook’s Headquarters and around the world in 2012.

Miriam MacMillan was banned from Facebook for 24 hours for sharing a breastfeeding picture on her BREASTFEEDING PAGE, RefreshMe, during this nurse-in. Here is her screen shot.

Do you see anything breaking community standards here? Absolutely not!

Here is RefreshMe’s reply to Facebook after the ban:

Dear Facebook, today we will be testing you on your policy with our new “Facebook Friendly” picture. Your policy says that if a nipple is showing but a child is actively nursing that its OK with facebook- you welcome these beautiful photos. So although we don’t agree with you ( we believe Nipples do not = Rude/Sexy we believe breasts (including nipples) = functional part of a woman’s body- in fact from our entire photo shoot this was the ONLY picture we got where everyone’s nipples were covered or their baby/toddler wasn’t looking around for a split second- but hey they are kids these things happen ALOT!!) We would love it if you would change your policy to include breasts in the context of breastfeeding but for the moment will just be happy if you follow YOUR OWN RULES. Mirrie is still banned but she made this picture for our members to SHARE and show their awesome support.

These mamas are all local and members of this page- we think they are *wonderful* – Don’t you? :)

Sincerely, RefreshMe x

Then, ALL ABOUT AMBER was been banned from Facebook for 3 days, the third time she has been banned for 3-5 days, all for sharing this Spikey Hedgehog Photography portrait.

Again, this image is perfectly acceptable, gorgeous even, and doesn’t break any rules on Facebook. The mother, an editor for Nurture ~ Natural Parenting Magazine, comments, “Do you see the beauty of the picture or do you see the sexualisation of the breast? To me, that photo shows only love. My boy feeding and gently holding my hand. I can’t see why it would upset you – there is less skin showing than a picture of a female in bikini down at the beach …”

And I had my first breastfeeding photo deletion this month too. A photo of a mama nursing her twins in a position recommended to relieve mastitis was banned from my page on January 27th, 2013.

Share these photos if you support breastfeeding photos on Facebook!

Did you participate in the photo nurse-in? Share your photos on my Facebook wall!

 

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Facebook Strikes Down Another Breastfeeding Portrait

Yet again, another breastfeeding photo has been censored from Facebook. According to Breastfeeding, a support page, Facebook removed this photo from their wall.

Take a look.

What do you think is offensive and violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities?

Perhaps the delicious looking birthday cake (that made me go out and buy a chocolate cupcake today after I wrote this post) was too treacherous for public consumption? Were they confused about the number of candles on the cake? (Who is the cake for? Is there a 5 year old child off frame?) Were the flames too big and someone thought it was a fire hazard? Or maybe they were they disgusted by the joyous mother who may or may not be breastfeeding her sweet chunky thighed baby? Did someone find the breastfeeding part offensive and flag it for removal and it was removed before being examined? What if that baby is just sucking it’s thumb? Were the boobs on the screen behind the cake too much for Facebook? Shame on TLC for flashing porn! Or, I got it. I know. Is it the unfolded laundry in the rocking chair? OH THE HORROR!! Don’t look!

Here is the thread where this image came from. I’m not sure how long the link will be active though.

Well, I can’t figure it out. Images like these of Pamela Anderson and Tamara Ecclestone in the headlines today show more breast than a breastfeeding mother usually does, and certainly the mother above. And even the cleavage on the screen.

And they are purely for sexual consumption and the male gaze, am I right?

What about breastfeeding images? Who are those for? The mother. The baby when they grow up. The father. Anyone who finds breastfeeding a beautiful, natural act. For educational purposes. For children. They show the love of the mother, the dedication, the pride. Breastfeeding images show the normal, biological function of our mammary glands.

Even if a nursing mother is not covered and is showing some breast tissue, it is perfectly acceptable.

Despite Facebook taking down this image of the Leaky Boob’s a few months back.

If someone can’t handle this image, they should just unlike the page or unsubscribe from a friend who posts things that are not to their taste. Period.

Most states have specifically passed laws to allow breastfeeding in public, regardless of the mother being covered or not, nipple exposed during nursing or not. Why? To protect nursing mothers and babies from rude, uninformed people who think nursing is lewd or sexual. Breastfeeding and seeing breastfeeding online and in public benefits everyone. Facebook agrees. They also say they fully support breastfeeding and images are not to be removed. But it keeps happening.

When I saw this photo on my news feed this morning, it made me happy to see that dimpled hand and the smile on that mama’s face. I am thankful that the majority of breastfeeding images stay on Facebook without removal. But when they are removed, it makes me angry. Because it is sending the wrong message to the people they block. It is shaming them.

Breastfeeding is beautiful. Nurse with pride, mamas!

 

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New Yorker Banned From Facebook over Nipple Bulges

Facebook doesn’t discriminate when it comes to their users flashing a little nipple, suspending accounts from breastfeeding mothers to magazines.

The latest to be banned from Facebook? The New Yorker. Yep. Even the magazine giant was banned for sharing a little nip, posting a cartoon that included nipple bulges. GASP!! Did I just say nipple bulges?! Scandalous. 

I read about it today on the Guardian – who posted this painting of the original sinners with a funny caption:

Why ARE female nipples so evil? Seriously. Can someone answer this baffling question for me? What is the world being protected from when our nipples are censored? Nothing. Shaming women benefits no one. It certainly hinders new mothers’ ability to be confident in their new breastfeeding role, lowers societal support, and costs our nation billions in unnecessary healthcare costs and hundred of lives a year.

All I can say is that banning nipples, female nipples over male nipples, makes absolutely no sense to me. Our breasts are what sustain life. Every single human on earth is here today thanks to breast milk. And before anyone gets up in arms about everyone being here because of penises and vaginas, breasts are not sexual, reproductive organs.

What was the offending cartoon that the New Yorker posted? It was this innocuous-looking Mick Stevens cartoon of a naked couple (Adam and Eve) sitting underneath a tree, with the caption “Well, it was original”. I posted it below but might have to remove it if I get any mean warning emails.

stevens-cartoon 1.jpg

Take a look. No private parts exposed. I don’t really consider nipples private parts. So i guess I mean, no genitalia exposed. What about those shocking nipples? Don’t the male and female nipples look pretty similar in the drawing? Well, if you zoom in, this is what they really look like.

Female nipple bulges: Not O.K.:

female-nipples.jpg

Male nipple bulges: O.K.:

male-nipples.jpg

Facebook needs to get over themselves. They allow breastfeeding areola to be exposed while a mother is nursing IF the baby is attached to the breast. They allow breastfeeding statues and naked paintings and other artwork. But cartoons are not artwork? What about all the nipples Heather Cushman-Dowdee draws in her cartoons? Well, I guess she has been suspended too for a tiny little nipple in a comic about accepting nursing mothers in public.

Sigh. One day this silliness will all be over. Right? I have to keep telling myself that because right now, all it does is make me angry and sad about the silly little country we live in that can’t handle a little nipple. Everyone just needs to quit it with the nipplephobia.

What do you think? Have you ever been banned from Facebook?

 

Read more about the incident and what Mick Stevens has to say about it all:

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What is acceptable on Facebook: Sexualized Women vs Breastfeeding Mothers

I can’t remember what I was searching for today but instead of finding what I wanted, I found this.

Wowza. Where was this little gem?

ON FACEBOOK.

The very place that kicks breastfeeding mothers off for posting images of their infants nursing from those very same mammary glands. Well, probably not THOSE exact ones. Who knows if that woman’s breasts are usually perky due to good genes, augmentation, or because they could be full of milk. If she would like to latch a baby or two on there, I’d love to see it on Facebook. This one, with the laughable underwire support and no cup? It is a bit too sexual for my taste but I guess they are not breaking any community standards, even though Facebook says they “have a strict “no nudity or pornography” policy. Any content that is inappropriately sexual will be removed.”.

Wait. So that’s not inappropriately sexual? I guess not!

Facebook explains their policy on their website:

Nudity and Pornography

“Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and imposes limitations on the display of nudity. At the same time, we aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.”

Why hasn’t the above image been removed? Has no one thought to report it? Heck, I reported it and it is still there.

Sure, they avoided breaking the “no areolas” rule (assuming flashing nipples in any context is considered nudity) in a clever way with those sequened and tassled pasties in the top photo. My brain is having a hard time with all of that. I know that bra and those breasts are supposed to be sexy but three years of nursing two children really has me cracking up. I can’t help but think about those breasts dripping red milk!!

I think the page where I found this photo posted, Majo Rey, is a lingerie store judging by their other photos, which are not all bad, but some of the others they post, like this one below, are inappropriately sexual.

This second image covers more breast but it is clearly sexual. Yet it stays.

What is Facebook’s stance on breastfeeding?

Does Facebook allow photos of mothers breastfeeding?

“Yes. We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful, and we’re very glad to know that it is important for mothers to share their experiences with others on Facebook. The vast majority of these photos are compliant with our policies, and we will not take action on them.

Photos that show a fully exposed breast where the child is not actively engaged in nursing do violate Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. These policies are based on the same standards which apply to television and print media.

It is important to note that photos which we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain about them being shared on Facebook.”

Of these two photos, which one do you think was banned? Just a hint. Not the one you would think.

VS

Answer: The Breastfeeding mother was banned from Facebook and her image removed. Not the objectified woman, who was posted *without* the black bars, and without anything on under there. SERIOUSLY!

Photo shared by Samantha Bice

I would much rather have my children see women breastfeeding, mothering their offspring, than women lifting their hips and pushing up their breasts in lingerie or spreading their legs, completely naked in stripper heels. But I suppose these types of overtly sexual images can be seen splashed all over magazines and at the local mall. Ahem, Victoria’s Secret.

It is interesting that Facebook continues to claim they allow breastfeeding photos and art but it is continually taken down, mothers are banned and shamed. Why is suspending mothers and taking down their breastfeeding photos a big deal? Because breastfeeding mothers need support. Cutting them off from sharing the sweet, important, and often tough moments of their lives on Facebook, including photos of their children nursing, sends everyone the wrong message. Sharing images of breastfeeding actually helps normalize breastfeeding in our culture. The more it is seen, the more socially acceptable it will become, raising our national breastfeeding averages and savings billions of dollars and nearly a thousand lives a year. The number of mothers that are kicked out of restaurants, pools, churches, off buses, out of court, or fired from their jobs for breastfeeding is shameful. Breasts are meant to nourish our young. Sure, they can be fun too, but we must all remember…the primary purpose of breasts is for our species survival.

What do you think? Should Facebook quit the BS and own up to their own standards? If they can’t do that, how about just improving the grievance procedure for mothers who just want to get back online without having to wait 30-days?

 

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Facebook Bans Breastfeeding Paintings But Not Statues?

Did you know that a nipple exposed in a painting or photo on Facebook is prohibited but not a “lactating” nipple on a fountain or exposed nipple on a statue? I find that very interesting.

If statues and paintings are both considered fine art, why are they on some sort of different screening or qualification level on Facebook? Why did they draw the line at one and not the other?

I just saw this Facebook photo album, Breastfeeding Sculpture by Beautiful Breastfeeding, full of statues of nursing women and lactating fountains. None of these images were banned! Not one!

The woman behind Beautiful Breastfeeding was suspended for 30 days for posting a breastfeeding painting of a woman that had a nipple exposed. Oh my! Someone painted breasts being used for their purpose? And the painting was over a hundred years old by a (now) widely accepted artist, Cezanne, but Facebook deemed it obscene? Shocking! (I kid.)

Beautiful Breastfeeding fought back. She posted a photo, this lovely lactating fountain, and commented on their censorship:

“I dedicate this post to the beauty of breastfeeding in art, that should never be censored, and remain free for all to see…”

And because not everyone has a Facebook account, I’ve posted it where everyone can truly see.

Where is this lovely fountain, you ask? I believe it is The Neptune Fountain (Fontana di Nettuno), located in Bologna, Italy, in Piazza del Nettuna, next to Piazza Maggiore, and is one of it’s most famous landmarks. (More info, angles, and lactating statues on Dr. Momma.)

What I love about this statue is that not only is it beautiful, it is educational. If you were anything like me the first time your milk came in with your first child, you had no idea that milk would come out that way. Why did I think it would only dribble out of one hole per nipple?? I guess I hadn’t seen this statue! Milk sprays in all directions. Hopefully most of it makes it into your baby’s mouth. Sharing the image of this fountain and other lactating fountains serves the global community. I sincerely hope Facebook doesn’t decide to ban these types of images too.

What do you think about Facebook’s ban on paintings of breastfeeding nipples but not on statues and fountains? Shouldn’t they allow both or neither?

One last thing, for some reason, fighting back by spraying Facebook in the face with “milk” reminded me of the news story of the woman spraying a cop in the face with her breast milk. It isn’t the same thing of course, but still.

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