Breastfeeding ban from Facebook
How offensive are pictures of moms breastfeeding their babies?
Image: Via Shutterstock

Facebook has strict guidelines about content which is considered offensive, including what may (or may not) be displayed if breastfeeding moms wish to put pictures of themselves up on their pages. The problem, moms are saying, is that Facebook seems to be over-enthusiastic about removing their pictures, according to

No nipples (unless they're male ones)

According to the guidelines, which cover everything from bestiality to paedophilia, breastfeeding moms are allowed to post pics of themselves feeding their babies, as long as no nipples are exposed. In reality, though, despite this guideline, moms are finding pictures of themselves breastfeeding are flagged and removed. Male nipples are deemed safe for viewing.

One Vancouver mother, Emma Kwasnica, has had 30 breastfeeding photos removed and has had her account shut down four times. On one occasion, she was even banned from the site for a month.

Facebook issued a statement in response to a complaint about the removal of these pictures, saying that the social networking giant agreed that breastfeeding is natural, and that only photos which showed a fully-exposed breast were removed. The statement goes on to allege that only photos brought to the social network’s attention by other users were removed.

Kwasnica disagreed, telling the Huffington Post that she knows of at least 30 moms whose accounts were shut down for displaying a single breastfeeding image.

Banning the boob-bandits

She claims that Facebook is incapable of policing its own policies, and that its employees are overzealous in flagging images as offensive and in closing down the accounts of the so-called culprits.

The Guardian, on the other hand, has no such ban on showing nipples, and has invited users to submit photos for an online gallery.

Facebook’s actions feed directly into the debate about the “offensiveness” of breastfeeding- some moms are happy to feed in public, while others consider it a private affair. Still others who aren’t breastfeeding find it to be totally offensive.

Proud, brave, or offensive?

While breastfeeding is obviously a natural part of raising a baby, society (including social networks) is clearly not quite ready to embrace images of proud breastfeeding moms. Then again, in the face of this opposition, it must be a brave mom who is willing to share pictures of herself breastfeeding.

Would you post pictures of yourself breastfeeding your child on social networks?

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