Facebook Changes Its Rules on Mastectomy Photos -- It's About Time

thumbs upAfter a petition, Facebook has reworded its policy on posting post-mastectomy photos. The social networking site had previously taken issue with post-op photos, and although they still don't welcome fully exposed breasts -- "particularly if they're unaffected by surgery" -- they're more open to photos of scars.

As they should be.

Nine-hundred and seventy-four million completely asinine things are posted to Facebook a day. A person who bravely undergoes a mastectomy should be able to post a pic of their scar if they want to. Who wouldn't want to shout it through the rooftops?


The petition made its way to Facebook via Change.org and was started by Susan Barrington, a 53-year-old woman with stage-IV breast cancer. In a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, Barrington wrote: "Post-mastectomy photos do not objectify or sexualize the human anatomy. They document the physical and emotional toll of women and men who have undergone mastectomies. They raise awareness of the disease and reinforce the need for early intervention and research toward a cure. This is the reality of breast cancer." She said that by Facebook taking down these photos, they're "essentially putting these images in the same category as pornography."

A lot of people seem to have mixed feelings on this -- just as they do with breastfeeding photos on Facebook -- but I for one think tasteful post-mastectomy photos are a wonderful thing to have on Facebook. (This all started when FB took down photos posted by a photographer who did a series of portraits of young women and men in the aftermath of mastectomies.) Yes, a photo in the operating room might be a bit much (as are photos mid-birth), but a picture to show your brave battle should go on Facebook for all to see.

Glad Facebook lightened up on their policy a bit. But it's sad that it had to take a petition for them to do so. Hopefully, the beautiful photos that are posted on to the site will inspire and give hope to the women and men battling the disease.

What do you think of this?


Image via Owen W Brown/Flickr

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