Leave Our Photos Alone! Breastfeeding Moms Stage Facebook Protest

Breastfeeding moms staged nurse-ins at Facebook headquarters this week, protesting the networking site’s practice of removing photos of women nursing their children.

The Huffington Post reports the protest was launched by Emma Kwasnica, a Vancouver, Canada mother and breastfeeding advocate who has posted more than 200 photos of herself nursing her children and says her account has been suspended repeatedly for violating the site’s no-nudity policy.

About 60 protesters gathered in front of Facebook’s Menlo Park offices on Monday, and similar protests were planned in New York; Toronto; Austin, Texas; Seattle; London; Paris; Amsterdam; Madrid; Singapore; Dublin, Ireland; and Sydney. Protesters say they want to make the point that breastfeeding isn’t obscene.

The San Francisco Chronicle offered more details:

Facebook officials said that breastfeeding photos are taken down only when they are flagged as inappropriate and that sometimes errors happen.

But protesters called on the social-networking giant to better train employees to recognize legitimate photos and to institute a better way to contact the company when an error is made, especially one that causes a member’s account to be suspended.

“There’s no excuse for anyone to be harassed for breastfeeding,” said Jodine Chase, who was among about 60 protesters who helped organize the nurse-in outside Facebook headquarters. “We want Facebook to leave breastfeeding alone.”

Earlier this year, Facebook issued a statement about its policies to the Huffington Post:

“The vast majority of breastfeeding photos are compliant with our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Facebook takes no action on such content. However, photos which contain a fully exposed breast, do violate our terms and may be removed if they are reported to us. These policies are based on the same standards that apply to television and print media. It is important to note that photos upon which we act are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain about them being shared on Facebook.”

Readers, share your thoughts: Do photos of breastfeeding belong on Facebook?

Image: via The Huffington Post.

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  1. by mary

    On February 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I am a huge advocate of nursing. It is best for the baby and truly a wonderful experience to share with the child. However, for me it is a very intimate time shared between my child and I. I personally don’t post any pictures of my child, nursing or not, on the internet because I feel it is my duty as her mother to protect her privacy. Once placed on the internet, pictures are there forever. You never know who may be viewing the photos. If these women feel they should be able to post pictures of them nursing, that is their decision. Just think first of whose computer screen they may wind up on.

  2. by Carmen

    On February 22, 2012 at 6:14 am

    I personally feel that nursing a child should not require exposing your breasts in public, a cover should be placed over the nursing area to maintain that very personal act private. I don’t mind seeing my intimate family members nursing, but seeing other women nurse with their breasts exposed is not something I like. If these women want their breasts exposed to the public while nursing on the internet, they should not use Facebook. They don’t pay for their services so they cannot protest when this free service enforces their rules….take pictures that are in good taste, women, not everyone likes to see your breasts!

  3. by DJ

    On May 18, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Without seeing the photos that were removed, I agree with the Facebook policy, and I breastfed 3 children. Some women are unnecessarily immodest when breastfeeding, don’t use a coverup, etc. Facebook has to draw a line in the sand somewhere, and an exposed breast would be a good place, in my opinion. If the photos just depict breastfeeding without any actual breast exposure, then I understand the protest, because some people are offended by just the idea of breastfeeding.

  4. [...] does allow photos of breastfeeding these days (as opposed to a few years ago), but the site still has a strict policy on how photos display nudity. Although blurring out a [...]