The Guardian milks controversy over Facebook's breastfeeding photo ban
Facebook’s stance on breastfeeding photos continues to nurse controversy.
While the site does allow community members to upload photos showing breastfeeding, nipples and fully exposed breasts are not allowed to be shown in the images. That’s what led to photos uploaded by The Guardian to be removed by the site.
Following a report by Gawker, which revealed the latest guidelines for Facebook content moderators outlaw images of female nipples, The Guardian urged its readers to send photos of themselves breastfeeding. Some of the reader-submitted photos were then uploaded to Facebook by the newspaper.
To The Guardian’s great surprise (or not), the photos were taken down by Facebook. The site gave “a stern warning about community standards.”
The newspaper claims that Facebook’s stance “undermines the support mothers are looking for, and getting, from family and friends” while calling for the company to let mothers post such images on the site.
Facebook has clear rules over what can and cannot be shown in photos depicting breastfeeding on the site. As it notes in its help center:
“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.”
However, many moms and breastfeeding advocates disagree with Facebook’s policy on the matter. Earlier this month, activists staged a “nurse-in” protest at Facebook offices around the world.
For the time being, if you wish to post photos of your child breastfeeding, by all means you can do so, as long as you don’t show any naughty bits.
Photo by myllissa