Facebook's Breastfeeding Photo Apology Means It's Time They Change Their Rules (VIDEO)

Say What!? 13

Its 1.06 billion monthly active users can't be wrong: Facebook is really, really good at a lot of things. When it comes to staying connected, forging new relationships, and sharing information, there's a reason Facebook is the most used social network in the world. Unfortunately, when it comes to policing user-submitted photos, Facebook just can't quite seem to get it right.

Well, okay, in terms of sheer numbers we probably have to assume Facebook gets it right more than they get it wrong. But most Facebook photo controversies have a way of making headlines, and the company has come under fire for all sorts of photo-blocking decisions (including, hilariously, this image of a woman's elbows). The most recent kerfuffle came when Facebook deleted the images posted by breastfeeding advocate Kristy Kemp, then blocked her from the site -- but based on their subsequent response, it appears the social media giant may be getting more sensitive to the public accusations of censorship.

Kemp runs the support page Breastfeeding/Mama Talk, and she was outraged when she realized Facebook had pulled several images of women nursing their children. She was locked out of the page for 24 hours when one of its 4,300 fans posted a closeup photo of a breastfeeding toddler, when she was able to log back in, she was blocked again when she posted a photo of a different mom feeding her baby and her 5-year-old at the same time.

After Kemp was banned from the site for the second time, she couldn't log back in for three days. She told Fox40,

It’s not right. I’m trying to do good for mothers and I’m getting kicked off for posting pictures of the most beautiful act a mother can do her for kid. It’s not right.

For Kemp, the move by Facebook must have felt personal -- she says she initially created the page because she felt shamed when she nursed her own son in public, and she wanted to provide a supportive space for breastfeeding moms.

Kemp reportedly spent days trying to get a response from Facebook, but the company didn't address the issue until they were contacted by Fox40. Facebook has now apologized to Kemp, saying:

A member of our team accidentally removed something you posted on Facebook. This was mistake [sic], and we sincerely apologize for this error.

Yeah, I call bullshit on the "accidentally" part, since it happened more than once. And it sucks that Kemp didn't hear back until the media got involved.

Still, for those who feel strongly that breastfeeding images shouldn't be censored from Facebook, it seems like a small -- but maybe important -- victory. Facebook clearly doesn't have a bulletproof photo policy, but they've got to be feeling some pressure to make improvements. Whether that means developing a better algorithm for evaluating user-reported violations or providing better training for the human employees who determine whether an image falls in line with their stated acceptance of "the vast majority" of breastfeeding photos, I'm sure this is something Facebook is focusing on. After all, bad PR is a powerful thing.

Are you surprised Facebook keeps getting into hot water with breastfeeding advocates?

Image via sdminor81/Flickr



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Paws84 Paws84

Why do women feel the need to show photos of them breast feeding their child in the first place!? That's like taking a picture of you changing their diaper and showing the world TOO much. If you want to take pictures of either one (which is weird), keep it to yourself. Doesn't belong on Facebook.

nonmember avatar Madeline

Thank you Paws84.

nonmember avatar kaerae

@Paws - I'm not a BFer but, not, it is NOT like showing a diaper change, it is like showing a bottle-feeding, Get over your issues.

Morrenin Jovan Byars

It is not JUST breastfeeding advocates that are angry with Facebook. I am an advocate for public nudity and a lot of us are mad as hell with them too!

dekumama dekumama

Why do people feel the need to post photos of their babies bottle feeding? Heck why show any pics of your babies at all, ever? Changing a diaper is an unpleasant chore, of course no one wants to see that. Feeding your child is a beautiful, loving thing and some of us happen to think babies eating is pretty darn adorable! You should probably keep your ignorance to yourselves.

nonmember avatar blh

Your baby is adorable. Your boobs....not so much. the whole world doesnt need/want to see your boobs. NIP is one thing but putting pictures of your tits up is being an exhibitionist. Have some class please.

nonmember avatar blh

@morrenin I have no desire to see most people naked and Facebook has minors on it so that would be completely inappropriate. It boggles me how people think their rights are being infringed BC they can't walk around naked everywhere?? You'll live, I promise.

Simon... SimonzKedge

Why do girls need to post themselves wearing bikinis?

Why do guys have to post their muscle poses?

Why do idiots have to post that horrid duckface pose?

Why do drunks have to post their kegstands?

Why do fanatics post sports scenes?

Why do couples post makeout shots?

Why do fiancees post wedding spam?

Why do people post FB game screenshots?

Wtf do people post anything?

Because it means something to them and they want to share it with their friends & family.

Don't like it? Put on your big kid panties and don't click, don't look, or scroll past. It's not hurting anyone. Grow the frik up.

nonmember avatar Brooke

My stomach turned when I read the part in the article about the mother breast feeding her five year old. That's disgusting. Don't get me wrong- I am all about breast feeding infants; I plan on doing it when I have children. But five years old is too old; even 18 months is too old.

I don't understand why mothers feel the need to post pictures publicly of them breast feeding in the first place. I think it's good for Facebook to take down the pictures. Some things should be left off of the internet because there are too many sensitive and perverted people out there.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

First, 18 months is NOT 'too old'. The World Health Organization recommends a MINIMUM of two years. Anything before two years is usually very unnatural to quit.

I share a lot of nursing photos on the site. It is my effort to help normalize something as simple as feeding a baby the natural way. When a woman is nursing a baby you rarely see any more than if she wore a low cut shirt (and usually much less!) I feel that anyone complaining about nursing photos on Facebook is clearly not a breastfeeding supporter. More educated than most, yes but still not fully grasping how NORMAL nursing is. Breasts are simply not ALWAYS sexual. And when they are actively feeding a baby they are anything but- so 'inappropriate, gross, too much skin' etc are all irrelevant. At that point they are just food. If you see otherwise that's your issue

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