Facebook has an image problem.
Instituted as of Fall 2007 the popular online social network has recently begun deleting personal photographs of mothers breast-feeding their infants claiming they contain “obscene content.” Meanwhile, breastfeeding activists have voiced objections to the ban.
Earlier this year, 11,000 members met at Facebook headquarters in California where they staged a “nurse in.” One activist, Stephanie Knapp Muir created the site “Hey, Facebook. Breastfeeding is Not Obscene.”
“It’s highly offensive to mothers and babies to be lumped in as true obscenity,” Muir said.
One Facebook member, Jillian Munro, agues that the networking site is littered with photographs much more obscene than those most recently banned by Facebook.
Members belonging to high school networks have entire photo albums dedicated to a night of illegal binge drinking. Young university women post pictures of them selves scantily clad drunkenly dancing on a dance floor while engaging in acts most people reserve for private quarters. Munro has seen these binge drinking images..
“While I understand why some people may find a woman breastfeeding to be obscene,” Munro said, “it’s not nearly as bad as endorsing the irrational behaviour of today’s youth.”
Barry Schnitt, a Facebook spokesperson, stated in an interview with The New York Times that these photographs fall under Facebook’s policy to ban nudity from the network.
“We think it’s a consistent policy,” Schnitt said. “We’d rather just leave it at nudity and draw the line.”
“Breastfeeding is a woman’s biological means of connecting to and nurturing her child,” Munro said. “I’m sure everyone can agree there is something inherently beautiful about it.
Facebook has ballooned to just under 150 million members since it was first created by then sophomore Harvard University student Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004.
Pictures of women breastfeeding can still be found on Facebook because in the site’s view, offending anatomical parts are not visible.