Heartless Madeleine McCann Facebook Page Doesn't Break Rules but Breastfeeding Pics Do?

Twisted 16

Five years after Madeleine McCann's high-profile disappearance, Scotland Yard said they believed it was possible Maddie could still be alive, and released a photo depicting what she might look like today at 9 years old. Unfortunately, police in Portugal refused to re-open the case, saying there were "no new elements ... that would allow for the reopening of the inquiry."

While British police continue to review forensic evidence, including new leads that reportedly include fresh sightings of the little girl, one Facebook pundit has been busy creating an extremely helpful page that has surely been a pleasure for those who care about the missing girl.

It's titled, "If this gets one million likes, I will let Maddie out of my basement.”

Apparently the oh-so-clever page creator used an image of a cartoon teddy bear for the profile pic and wittily added, “Hahahaha I have her in my basement.” The page had been liked by over 400 Facebook users before the site was taken down, but according to at least one source, it was only removed because of the fake profile.

Facebook refused to comment, but a source told the Daily Record that the page content itself doesn't break Facebook’s rules:

The page is intended to be humorous and the target of the humour -- Madeleine McCann -- is a public figure. As a result, it does not breach our terms.

Now, who knows whether this "source" really represents Facebook, but this is from the site's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities:

You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.

Is a page dedicated to mocking the tragic disappearance of a little girl hateful? Man, I'd say so. But it seems like Facebook is way more concerned with the nudity part of those rules—at least where boobs are concerned.

The social media giant has been repeatedly accused of blocking accounts with breastfeeding photos and deleting groups that are dedicated to lactation. This practice has pissed off enough breastfeeding advocates that there have been multiple organized “nurse-ins” outside of Facebook offices, and triggered a response from the company:

On some occasions, breastfeeding photos contain nudity -- for example an exposed breast that is not being used for feeding -- and therefore violate our terms. When such photos are reported to us and are found to violate our policies, the person who posted the photo is contacted, and the photos are removed. Our policies strive to fit the needs of a diverse community while respecting everyone’s interest in sharing content that is important to them, including experiences related to breastfeeding.

The thing is, Facebook's process for reporting photos or pages relies on human decisions. Someone has to manually report content to complain about it, and someone on the site's end has to review it and decide if it violates their rules. Frankly, it seems to me that the first key to avoid having breastfeeding photos blocked is not to be friends with the types of ninnies who are offended by a rogue boob or two.

But back to the McCann page. While the lines between nudity and hate speech may be blurred, one thing's clearly spelled out: Fake profiles are not allowed. So unless that person has the balls to attach their real name to the "I will let Maddie out of my basement" page, we'll likely never know if Facebook would have banned it. As for whether or not they should have, I'd say if a breastfeeding mother's body is considered nudity, then this dumb page should definitely be considered hateful.

What do you think about Facebook's policies—should free speech reign, or are you glad there are rules about the content that shows up there?

Image via bixentro/Flickr



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Craft... CraftyJenna

I don't see the "humor" in a page like that. That is vile, how awful for the girl's family.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

It's not hateful, it's just bad taste. Some people just find that kind of humor appealing. Look at all the pages that make ludicrous claims like "if this gets one million likes Starburst will introduce an anchovy flavor candy!" Maybe the person who started this page was making a dig at those pages, poking fun at the idea that something will happen just because people like a page or copy a status. I sure plenty of people find it tasteless but it is perfectly legal.

Stacey. Stacey.

saying what you want in public is a right. showing your naked body, for whatever reason, in public is not.

How about instead of moms having a nuse-in outside FB, which proves nothing except those moms have too much time on their hands, they make their OWN webpage where they can post all the bf pics they want. 

Or, how about if you dont like facebooks rules, you dont use facebook. Voila!


H.A.I.L. H.A.I.L.

and yet, the vile people who attack our memorial pages for our babies are totally protected under "two faced book" policy...something so wrong here...

nonmember avatar amanda

I find it irritating that breastfeeding photos are banned but pornographic photos of modles are not banned from FB. there are tons of groups and pages with 100s or 1000s of nude photos on them and fb does nothing...

nonmember avatar Sarah

I think FB follows whatever rules they feel like following at the time. I have seen so many nude, slutty and distasteful pictures on Facebook. They have tons of pages on there devoted to that. But if I post a picture of my breastfeeding my kid, they can remove it. I have all my pictures, and everything personal blocked. Only for family and close friends. If you don't want to see my boobs, don't look at my pictures! God gave me my breasts for breastfeeding, period. You don't have to, but I should be able to and take picture to embarrass my kids later :)

nonmember avatar jenn

Both are wrong. God I'm sick of moms with too much time on their hands who think the rest of us want to see your boobs. WE DON'T!!!!!! To you it may be precious but the rest of us just want to try and keep our lunch down. Cover up for gods sake!!

tonip... toniperoni

i am yet to be convinced facebook offers anything of value to anybody. I hope the Mccann's sue the ass out of them and make them change their rules

spiri... spiritclua

Yes Free Speech is a Right but just because you can say something doesn't mean you should, we should all remember our rights end where another's begins. For some of us we learned this in Bible School at the age of 5 as the Golden Rule, Do Unto Others as You Would Have Others Do Unto You.  And, of course, when I or any of us screw up humble ourselves and apologize and realize that the other person may still be hurt and sorry just isn't good enough.  Like in this case that fb page I don't think an I'm sorry is going to be good enough.

snoww... snowwhiteisdead

I think people continuously forget that they are not the only person in this world. Some people think breastfeeding in public is distasteful, i dont know what other moms do but i am covered in public when i nurse and if any one where to dare tell me that i am "showing my boobs" id be angry. I dont enjoy seeing slutty girls with their skirts shorter than their underwear or people who weigh 300lbs in way to small clothes but i get the fuck over it because they are not my business i don't like it i look away. Their are so many debates that go back and forth and always will. Their is really no reason for people to debate it because its not ever going to change. Some people will have a sick sense of humor, some people will see nursing as indecent and their will always be "unfair" loopholes to every rule. We all just have to deal with it.

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