Moms Stage ‘Nurse-Ins’ At Facebook Offices Over Breastfeeding Photo Policy

By William McGuinness
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File -- A woman breastfeeds her child. (credit: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images)

File — A woman breastfeeds her child. (credit: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN, Texas (CBS HOUSTON) — Mothers held a rally outside Facebook offices in Austin yesterday, staging “nurse-ins” to protest the website’s practice of labeling photos of breastfeeding as obscene.

Vancouver midwife Emma Kwasnica called moms to support the cause worldwide through a Facebook group called “Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene.”

She said she’s repeatedly had her Facebook account suspended over photos tagged of her feeding her children and wants the company to rethink its approach.

“This is discrimination,” Kwasnica told the Houston Chronicle. “There’s no other way to look at it. We’re being treated as pornographers. Breast-feeding moms, especially ones with infants, spend hours a day with their children at their breast. They’re not trying to be sexually explicit. This is just part of their everyday lives.”

Protests were also held at the company’s new Menlo Park headquarters and offices in other locations across the country.

Facebook offers individuals an option to report other members’ photos as obscene and maintains that hosting members’ photos carries with it an obligation that the company protect minors from content, including nudity.

In a statement released Monday, Facebook said the vast majority of breastfeeding photos comply with its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which closely mirrors the policy that governs broadcast television, and which places limitations on nudity due to the presence of minors on the site.

But, Facebook stated, “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.”

Facebook noted its employees receive hundreds of thousands of reports every week and occasionally make a mistake and remove a piece of content it shouldn’t.

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