Facebook bans breastfeeding

breast-feedingFacebook has caused a bit of a stir by censoring some pictures of breastfeeding on the site.

I think it’s perfectly natural for a mother to breastfeed in public – as long as it’s discrete – I’ve yet to witness a mother not being discrete. However, isn’t it possible that some pictures could cause offence to parents who’d rather their children weren’t exposed to them. Remember, some people don’t realise how public their pictures are, so it’s possible they’re not as discrete as they would normally be in public. What do you think? Leave a comment if you have an opinion either way.

I picked up the story here.

[Update: 15:20 The Founder of Pix.ie just told me on Twitter: Pixie has strict rules re: nudity but we even allowed full child birth photos (http://pix.ie/mermaidlilli/album/324903) very NSFW – surely a naked person is less likely to be inappropriate than a woman giving birth – with all bits showing?]


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  1. flag
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1  Nick Bell said...

    As those of you who know me will testify I am not easily offended. The topic of sensoring is interesting, in my mind it is there to prevent people being offended, so surely if something (such as breast feeding) can be construed as offensive it should be sensored.


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    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1  Paul Jacobson said...

    I think Facebook is taking this debate in the wrong direction. Women shouldn’t be shamed for breast feeding, in public or otherwise, and that is the implication of its move to ban these photos.


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    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1  Cate said...

    I can understand from Facebook’s point of view that having a policy of banning all photos of exposed breasts is a lot easier than have a bunch of different circumstances when an exposed breast is OK. “Oh, she’s at a cocktail bar…” vs “Hmmm, that’s an exposed breast but it has a feeding child attached to it…” Or even going so far as to saying how much breast is acceptable- or in this case how much much nipple.

    Breastfeeding is a natural thing. I also think that it’s a somewhat private thing, but I’m not saying that all breastfeeding women should hide in the shadows and be ashamed of feeding their kid. Why you’d want your exposed boob on Facebook, even if it is feeding your baby, is something I don’t quite understand.

    Yes, it’s just a tit and it’s society’s fault for sexualizing women’s breasts and all that, but – sadly – people see breasts as sexual objects and when you have a photo of a bare one on the Internet people get all offended.

    It would be pretty progressive (and probably the right thing to do) for Facebook just to allow the damn photos and tell the people are complaining about it to calm down, but, they haven’t, and probably won’t.

    And for the people who say “what about the children??!”, I wonder what profiles their kids are looking at!? Whose profile is a 10-year-old kid looking at that they come across someone breastfeeding? Their AUNT’S?! Then take it up with Aunt Sally, not Facebook.


  4. flag
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1  Terence Eden said...

    @Nick Bell. I find people drinking beer offensive. I also find pictures of men with no shoes on offensive. Can we ban those pictures too? *Anything* can cause offence – if we go by your idea, we’ll end up censoring everything.

    @Paul “I think it’s perfectly natural for a mother to breastfeed in public – as long as it’s discrete”.
    Why does it need to be discrete? It’s someone having their lunch.

    Facebook needs to stop being so puritanical. The human body is not evil. The sight of breasts is not going to warp the minds of any child – given they spent two years looking at them.

    If you don’t want to look at pictures of your friends breast feeding – I suggest you help them figure out their privacy settings or, simply close your eyes.


  5. flag
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1  Debbie said...

    I’m with @Nick.

    It’s long been a ‘debate’ that ‘Page 3’ breasts are acceptable to society, while breasts doing the job they were designed to do are not. (Yes I know there are no Page 3 breasts on Facebook.)

    I think there is something seriously wrong with a world that regards this most natural, and non-sexual, act as offensive.


  6. flag
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1  Marcus Mac Innes said...

    As the founder of the company behind Irish photosharing site Pixie (http://pix.ie), we get all sorts of photos uploaded from all over the world.

    Different countries and cultures have very different views on what is and is not acceptable… Ireland (where we are based) is probably on the more conservative side of the fence, being a country where, for instance, until the mid 1990s it was illegal to buy condoms. Censorship and control over what we see and therefore what we consider “normal” has been controlled to a large extent by the Catholic Church rather than by well thought out governmental policy.

    When we established our site policies we decided to seed our community guidelines with liberal, open policies which would draw the line between natural and manufactured. Most people consider breastfeeding, topless beaches and to some extent artistic nudes to be part of our normal lives and therefore acceptable. Most people also consider pornography and its ugly friends to be unacceptable. This became our line; it’s pretty obvious what’s okay and what’s not.

    The child birth photos mentioned above created a challenge for us. They certainly don’t sit on the pornography side of the fence, yet they don’t sit on the normal every day part of our lives side of the fence either and the question ultimately boiled down to whether or not they should.

    Why don’t we see childbirth photos? Why do US TV documentaries always blur child birth scenes? Why do people never see this fascinating and arguably one of the most natural moments in our lives? Can we help change that? Let’s try…


  7. flag
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1  Debbie said...

    Argh, I meant I’m with Terence, not Nick. Sorry.


  8. flag
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1  Juanma said...

    Wow……. I can’t believe it!!!


  9. flag
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1  Pregnancy symptoms said...

    I wish to wish all pregnant women of good mood, easy pregnancy and natural sorts! Good luck also are happy! Give birth easily and independently! Let not doctors give birth for you, and you! Also adjust itself on chest feeding of the kid! Read the necessary information!Be, lovely pregnant mums and expecting posterities of the daddy, are healthy and wise!


  10. flag
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1  Breastpumps said...

    I think banning breastfeeding pictures or videos is really a great step taken by facebook, lot of people used to bring disgrace to this sacred bond between mother and her kids! this is kind of a slap to those.


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    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1  jennytess98 said...

    I second that.. breast feeding is an personal issue and if it's banned on a certain website ..so it be. Who cares… and why do u want to show the whole world about you feeding your beloved baby?


  12. flag
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1  nursingpump said...

    Rightly said, I completely agree with you.


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