Is Facebook Anti-Breastfeeding?

Members of a certain breastfeeding group on the site would argue that they certainly seem to have issues with women feeding their children naturally. 

With a following of around 9,500 fans The Leaky B@@b Facebook page acts as a support network for breastfeeding moms, enabling them to ask questions, share advice and simply connect with one another. Facebook chose to delete the popular group over the weekend, claiming that their photos of  breastfeeding mothers violated their Terms of Service.

In response, outraged members of the group formed 2 new groups on the site: Bring Back the Leaky Boob – again. and TLB Support. The pages quickly garnered more than 10,000 ’likes’ before being deleted by Facebook administrators. This led Jessica Martin-Weber, founder and editor of the breastfeeding support group to deliver a statement to Facebook, asking they restore the group and re-evaluate the way breastfeeding photos be viewed.

Facebook did reinstate the page but, unfortunately, many group members’ personal photos and pages were lost after the initial deletion. Even worse, the implication that Facebook views breastfeeding as obscene. Just this morning, Martin-Weber posted: Last night and this morning I had photos deleted for violating the TOS. If this happens enough times my personal account is in trouble. This is why getting our page reinstated is not enough, I want Facebook to do more to prove they are not anti-women. Have you had breastfeeding photos deleted recently?

A member of the group echoed that statement with the following post: This is my new status message: Facebook has always had issue with both breastfeeding mothers and pregnant moms showing off their baby bumps or posting BF pics. Now they seem to have waged war deleting accounts, groups and pages left and right that have anything to do with it – some that didn’t even post pictures. If you …are a proud Mama please change your icon to a tasteful BF pic or baby bump pic in support of those fighting FB right now.

Where do you stand on this issue? Do you think it’s appropriate for women to post photos of themselves breastfeeding on social sites like Facebook? We are eager to hear your opinions!

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  1. by Heidi Danos

    On January 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Well, as it stands now (and the page is currently “standing”), I don’t see what the big deal is. Now… if the page appeared to be a cover-up for something that 12yr. old boys would drool over, maybe. But, it looks totally devoid of any obvious pornographic images and instead, looks quite classy.

  2. by Ludicrous Mama

    On January 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Breastfeeding in public is supported and allowed. But PICTURES of breastfeeding isn’t. Babies aren’t going to starve, or be forced to eat in a skanky bathroom because people can’t post pictures on Facebook or other social networking sites.
    But since FB isn’t banning pics of nekkid baby bottoms too, or severe cleavage shots, then clearly there’s a problem.
    These sites could easily have a free blog that they set up (and can link to their FB page) to post pics for purposes of education and feeding tips/examples. People can comment on the linked post on the FB page, if they don’t want to on the blog. So it’s not like there’s no way for these people to get their information and visuals.
    But in public, I can avoid staring at someone feeding their baby. That’s harder to do for someone’s profile pic.
    But FB needs to have better rules about what’s allowed and not. I can post pics of my kids naked, or someone in a thong bikini bottom, but not less-breast-than-in-most-cleavage-shots if there’s a baby’s head in front of it?
    But I agree that they have the RIGHT to censor, since it’s a privately owned site. They just need to have set rules. In WA State, for example, you can’t have nipples showing in an establishment that serves alcohol. Men’s OR women’s nipples! That’s far fairer than FB’s ‘no boobs with babies’ policy. Or allow them in private albums, only accessible by friends or ‘likes’ and let pages put an age limit, or even women- or men-only limits on who can ‘like’ them (since I understand that FB is trying to protect kids here, and avoid what could be seen as pornography.) It’s hard to enforce a “only 20% or less of the breast can show, and no areola/nipples” policy, but they need to make it fair. If the issue is areola and nipples, fine. But the issue seems to be any breast tissue if a baby is suckling, which is NOT fair. What if I just have a sexy cleavage shirt on and am holding my sleeping baby but it LOOKS like I’m breastfeeding? Am I banned?

    The ‘no baby bumps’ policy is just offensive to me, however, since you can post topless men pics, and women in bikinis, whether they’re attractive-looking pics or not! They either need to allow ALL tummies, or no tummies.