Hey Breastfeeders, Facebook Is Obscene…

6 02 2010

I suppose, it was inevitable. Facebook starts deleting breastfeeding images from personal accounts, and then closing accounts … as breastfeeding images are “pictures of naked women who happen to be breastfeeding.”
Mums of breastfeeding babies, who had been posting their own photos in their own photo albums, join together and create a protest group on Facebook. There is also the site that logs what Facebook have deleted, including portraits of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding Jesus.
The Facebook group, incidentally, enjoys massive traffic from lactaphobes, determined to prove that breastfeeding is obscene, attention serving and about Mums getting their jollies from flashing their tits. Every lame argument is posted, and slogged through time and again and time and again. and…
Facebook decides enough is enough, and warns it will close down the entire protest group… for obscenity and sexual imagery. The Mums who post into this group spend hours dealing with lactaphobes rationally and calmly, as well as give breastfeeding support to Mums in need.
Facebook is once again, acting in cyberspace, in a way totally illegal in real life. Breastfeeding is protected by many laws, in many USA States and other countries. But it’s only the computer that’s in California, so they can’t be pursued by the law! And making a mint out of it too.
*sigh*
Here’s the official press release from the group. Go Make Merry. Pass on, send to your local newspapers etc. Propagate Mamas! Also, the back up group is here.
PRESS RELEASE

5th February 2010

For immediate release

FACEBOOK TO BAN BREASTFEEDING ADVOCACY GROUP FOR “OBSCENITY”

Lactivist group faces termination from Facebook after embarrassing the social networking site in high profile media awareness campaign last year.

The group of almost 250,000 members faces threats of removal after a media blitz that chastised the social networking site for its draconian policies toward breastfeeding mothers. The campaign, which garnered national and international attention in over 25 languages from various media outlets around the world, was featured on CNN, CBS News and the Dr. Phil show among others. Members believe the current threat is directly related to the embarrassment caused to Facebook’s bosses.

Administrators of the group, “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is Not Obscene! (Official petition to Facebook)” were told by the social networking site that the group was in violation of copyright infringement policies. When pressed for details by the group’s admin, Facebook responded by changing the accusation to say the group was posting nudity or sexually explicit material and sending harassing messages to members.

Ms. Joseph says she believes the harassment is due to the social networking site being embarrassed that such a large number of people are against their policies of branding breastfeeding photos as “sexually explicit content”. “We have no idea what they’re talking about and they won’t explain the charges,” said Gillian Joseph , an admin of the group, living in Edinburgh, Scotland. “We checked our pages but can’t see any copyright infringements, and we’ve certainly sent no harassing messages. Now they’re saying it’s because we’re uploading obscene photos.”.

The support and advocacy group, which boasts over 247,000 members from all over the world, wishes to normalize the sight of breastfeeding mothers and children. It currently contains over 4,500 discussion threads on parenting topics, and over 5,700 photos – though some of these have already been removed by Facebook.

“To shut the group down would not only end valuable support, but give a message to the world that breastfeeding babies are somehow obscene. It’s just absurd,” said Debra Balcaen, a Winnipeg resident and administrator of the group.

“It is unfortunate and hypocritical that Facebook’s administration has targeted this breastfeeding advocacy group for alleged violations when at the same time they happily endorse sexually explicit material from third party applications and paid advertisements.”

END

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

Initial emails from Facebook were sent on 2/2/10 to the administrators of the group. All responses were handled by Gill Joseph, and the full email exchange can be provided upon request.

During previous campaigns, articles about the group have featured in The Washington Post and Fox News in the U.S., in The Guardian and The Times in the U.K., and in The Globe and Mail and The Ottawa Citizen in Canada.

The group has administrators in Canada, USA, UK and Australia who can be contacted on request, but main contacts for the media are:

Gill Joseph email: kamagrian@blueyonder.co.uk

phone: +44 7800 987 844 +44 7800 987 844

Stephanie Muir email: babieslovemilk@yahoo.ca

phone: +1 613 761 9109 +1 613 761 9109

Please note that email may be a better first contact choice, as both women are mothers of young children.

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4 responses

6 02 2010
Paul Rapoport

Good to see this, although we all wish it were unnecessary. Thank you once again for your pithy commentary, always of the essence; your links; and your obviously uncommon sense.

6 02 2010
Maria Guidos-Albert

Very very well summarized. That should be a press release, as well.,,,,

9 02 2010
Muddling Along Mummy

I've blogged about this as well over at mine … its so disappointinghttp://muddlingalongmummy.blogspot.com/2010/02/facebook-still-hates-breastfeeding.html

12 02 2010
Maman A Droit

This is awful. The good news is that there are over 100 breastfeeding groups and fan pages on facebook, we just need to get everyone to join them and post pics. Surely facebook wouldn't delete hundreds of groups? I just joined several. Let's get everybody on board!

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