Facebook’s “Warnings” page explicitly states that “photos and videos containing nudity…are not allowed,” a prohibition echoed in its Code of Conduct. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the social network removes images that violate those terms, even if they happen to feature a mother breastfeeding her child. Yet, a fast-growing group of mothers is protesting Facebook’s prohibition of member breastfeeding photos that reveal the nipple or areola. Rallying on-site in a group called “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is not Obscene” that now boasts well over 80,000 members, they’re asking the social network to exempt such photos from its TOS. “I don’t want future moms to feel that breastfeeding is shameful,” Heather Farley, one of the groups organizers, told the San Jose Mercury News. “It might keep them from breastfeeding.”
Now, some 40 states now have laws allowing women to breastfeed in public, why shouldn’t Facebook allow them to post their breastfeeding photos?
Because a photo of an exposed breast with a baby in it is still a photo of an exposed breast. And right now, Facebook members are prohibited from posting photos of exposed breasts to their profiles. “We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and we’re very glad to know that it is so important to some mothers to share this experience with others on Facebook including children,” Facebook explained in a statement. “Photos containing a fully exposed breast–as defined by showing the nipple or areola–do violate those terms on obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit material and may be removed.”