Is Facebook Anti-Breastfeeding?


Facebook removed this picture.
Psst, it's a BABY, not a boob.
One of my favorite breastfeeding support groups, The Leaky B@@b, was removed from Facebook last week. It went back up that evening, and we cheered. Then it was pulled down again. Right as we all started to freak out, it was back up again! So far so good. *crossing my fingers*

Facebook says, "It was a mistake."

Just this week, a natural childbirth photographer, breastfeeding support groups, and individual moms' pages were taken down. Seriously, what is going on, Facebook?!

It's no secret that some people have problems seeing a woman breastfeeding -- in person or in photos. My friend Melanie and fellow writer for one of my personal blogs had a nursing picture collage deleted this week. Sadly, her profile is private, meaning it could have only been reported by someone on her list marked as a "friend." The only nipple visible in the pictures is that of her baby's. Ooh, so damn scandalous.

Other moms have been given no warning and suddenly had their accounts deleted entirely over one breastfeeding picture. The "Bring Back Miriam Berlow Jackson," "BRING KARI BUNDY BACK," and "Bring back Holly Marie Stewart" pages are just that -- moms who lost their whole accounts over a single picture someone flagged as offensive and was deemed obscene by Facebook.

Bring Back Denver Doula is dedicated to restoring the profile of a doula who lost her page, with the same form message that The Leaky B@@b received. ~Bring Back Earthly Motherhood!~ is in support of an Australian community of support for naturally-minded moms. Again, same form letter.

The inconsistency is mind-boggling. Some women and groups have had tons of pictures deleted, and occasionally they DO break Facebook's terms ... but not often. But then they turn around and delete the entire accounts of women who were not breaking the written rules? How can we follow the rules if they don't follow them?

The Leaky B@@b, by the way, was only restored after Jessica Martin-Webber went on the news and spoke about the issue. In another case, that of Laura Eckert, a birth photographer, the news also picked up the story and again was told, "Oops, it was an accident."

In response to The Leaky B@@b's coverage, a Facebook rep said:

Our reviewers look at tens of thousands of pieces of content a day that are reported to them and take action according to our policies, which are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe and trusted environment for everyone, including the many children (under the age of 13) who use the service. Of course, we make an occasional mistake. This is an example. When this happens, and it’s brought to our attention, we work quickly to resolve the issue. In this case, we restored the Page and reactivated the accounts of the people who were impacted. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this mistake caused.

Side note: Kids under 13 aren't allowed on Facebook, they meant "over 13." How come The Leaky B@@b page went down, back up, down again, back up again, and suddenly other similar accounts entirely are dropping like flies, but borderline-pornographic pages and pictures that still meet the terms by the skin of their teeth don't disappear even after being reported? I'd much prefer the teen crowd see babies being fed naturally than sexual images on the screen. Or, you know, having my kid see something like this, which IS acceptable by Facebook, and unlike many women's profiles, is actually viewable to the public, from one of the many, MANY groups dedicated to big boobs:

Sorry, just not quite grasping this ... this picture, belonging to Emma Kwasnica, founder of Eats on Feets, was offensive enough to remove?

All I can figure is their folks must spend so much time focused on looking at the porn that gets reported that they delete anything that doesn't get them their jollies.

By the way, if you've gone on a "reporting" rampage, trying to report anything you find offensive but that still doesn't break the terms, don't. It doesn't help anything, and is yet another report on something that might not be everyone's ideal picture, but is still allowed under their rules. Don't stoop to that level.

Do you think this is merely mistake and coincidence, or there really is a huge issue with Facebook and breastfeeding moms?


Images via Woman Uncensored, Facebook, Girls with big breasts, Emma Kwasnica

breastfeeding, discrimination, in the news, web


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thedg... thedgoddess

Oh, there's something to this alright. I find it sad that in our society they value looking at boobs on scantily clad women but gosh forbid you have a baby in your arms and suddenly those breasts are disgusting and related to body functions. Riiiiiiight.


Jenean Renee Lapriola

I think this is insane,every time I watch a movie or even a t.v show they are showing a women in a sexual way ,they are always showing breasts in a sexual way if a baby is born and a baby needs fed way is it not a beautiful thing to show a child being fed I mean maybe we should look away when a animal feeds her young .. or cover a males chest ? They work so hard on making the female body a sexual thing!God forbid it be for making your child grow !I feel like I am pushed to nurse in the bathrooms when I am out because people look at me when I nurse in shock keep in mind I am fully covered by a huge nursing shawl..not only that but other women even pregnant ones look down on breastfeeding since the women's body has become since a sexual thing that breasts are for sex and not feeding your child i guess milk just comes in for sexual reasons ..I think people need to stop pretending they aren't human

Pishyah Pishyah

What she said.

Freela Freela

Facebook has been WAY too vocal on bf'ing pics, bf'ing moms, and bf'ing groups to claim that they don't have an issue with bf'ing in general.  Which is very, very sad.  I would rather my kids see breasts being used to feed babies than breasts being used to sell beer, but unfortunately Facebook would rather ban the first than the second!

nonmember avatar emily

Some people find breastfeeding uncomfortable. Those women know if she has a picture of her breastfeeding facebook will delete. Maybe next time they should respect facebook rules.

Carol Nolasco Diño

Definitely yes! I'm just wondering how come youtube can weed out those sexually implicited videos while Facebook cannot. And after all this mistakes on removing breastfeeding pages, how come the "mistake" does not happen for other pages? It only takes a good common sense to figure out the obvious. :)

nonmember avatar Jack Jones

@Emily: If we removed everything because someone found it uncomfortably, there would be nothing left. Some religions find unveiled women's faces or any images of people, uncomfortable.

If you see something that makes you uncomfortably, move on, or address your feelings.

nonmember avatar Andrea

Facebook "rules" allow kids to dress in next to nothing but not allow moms doing what's natural? If you take the time to look, you can't see the nipple if a mom is breastfeeding because it's in her baby's mouth which means it's concealed. This means it's within the rules and regulations. Facebook is just anti-breastfeeding and pro-pervert.

Debi Brown

I don't think it was personal against Breastfeeding, I think that it is sad that racy pages can stay up - but I don't think Facebook has something personal against Us. It was an accident/coincedent in my opinion. I do think there is something to people not getting their jollys, or being disgusted that breasts are being used for *gasp* something other then sexual things.

Louise 'Kitty' Brady

Yes they are and since becoming pregnant I have been bombarded by facebook ads from formula companies including SMS and Aptimil! These are targeting mums to be, not follow on milks, as well and as such are illegal in the UK (facebook can target area as well as those who join pregnancy aps). They are paid a lot of money by formula companies for adverising so this is probably why the vendetta against breastfeeding. It isn't so much personal it is greed!

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