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.
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?
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
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. This photo of a mama nursing her twins (in a position recommended to relieve mastitis) was banned from my page on January 27th, 2013. I can see how this is the most graphic but still, I don’t see any nipples showing.
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!
- What is acceptable on Facebook: Sexualized Women vs Breastfeeding Mothers - Paa.la
- New Yorker Banned From Facebook over Nipple Bulges - Paa.la
- Breastfeeding Art: Another One Bites the Dust on Facebook - Paa.la
- Facebook Bans Breastfeeding Paintings But Not Statues? - Paa.la
- UPDATED: Press & Photos of the 2012 Facebook Nurse-In Menlo Park & International News! - Paa.la
- Video: 24 Hours of Facebook Breastfeeding Censorship - Paa.la
- Why SEEING breastfeeding is important: My personal challenge to you by Emma Kwasnica - Paa.la