Photographer Fights Back After Her Raw Birth Video Was Pulled From Facebook


Monet Nicole/Vimeo

Witnessing the miracle that is a mother welcoming her baby into the world is nothing short of jaw-dropping, emotional, and downright incredible. Birth photographer Monet Nicole Moutrie makes that perfectly clear with a beautifully edited compilation of clips taken by her colleagues all around the world. From moms laboring in birth pools to surrogate parents holding their newborns for the first time, the viral video captures many tear-jerkingly beautiful moments. But apparently Facebook can't get on board with it. Seven months after it was initially posted to the site in honor of Mother's Day, the social network has removed the video and blocked Moutrie for "violating community standards."

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According to Facebook, "photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks" will be taken down. "We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but our intent is to allow images that are shared for medical or health purposes." 

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Moutrie took to her website's blog to note that not only does the video, entitled "Birth Becomes Her," not violate the social network's standards, but she's "saddened and quite honestly scared that the important work we're doing will be stifled and hidden behind false statements like 'community.'"

She continued, "Because there is nothing more antithetical to community than the restriction and censorship of birth, family and life. Facebook, we are far more than usernames and passwords. We are living and breathing human beings, with real bodies, that were ALL born from real women. Have we reached a point in our obsession with apps and usernames that we've forgotten that behind our [pixilated] screens are real bodies that breathe and beat and love and birth and eventually die? Facebook, LIFE should never be against your community standards." 

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Moutrie went onto assert that "seeing and sharing real images of birth are important. They bring life and light into dark corners and places. They offer people around the world the opportunity to learn about their bodies and the process of reproduction." 

She knows this because she has "followers from small villages where anatomy textbooks and What to Expect When [You're] Expecting are not available," she explained. "I have young women who message me and say they no longer feel as scared anymore. Seeing real images of women giving birth provides countless people with knowledge, courage, and hope. And yet you are coming closer and closer to removing this LIFE-GIVING gift. Your platform can do so much good in this world..."

Although Facebook has yet to comment on the removal of the video, according to the Mirror Online, Moutrie returned to Facebook today. She posted a selfie alongside a simple caption, noting, "7 day ban has been lifted! Huge thanks to help from the incredible Angela Gallo and Jennifer Rue McLellan! Feeling energized for the new year!"

Here's hoping that with the new year comes an apology from Facebook. Technology and social media should serve to bolster our humanity, not undermine it. Moutrie and all the mothers who are celebrated and may benefit from this video deserve nothing short of understanding, respect, and recognition from the social network.

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