Saturday, January 8, 2011

Facebook Nurse-In

Did you know that Facebook censors pictures?  Any obscene pictures are removed and the offending account closed if the behavior continues.  Unfortunately, Facebook decided years ago that photos of women breastfeeding their babies are obscene.  
Obscene? Really???
While many women have used this as a reason to boycott Facebook, I've been torn.  Though I'm not on Facebook often, it's the only way I can connect to many of the friends we've made who live afar- friends from high school, friends from Germany, and friends from grad school who have scattered across the globe.  It's something I've considered, but not something I've been ready to give up yet.  I much prefer going the route of other lactivists who just continue to post breastfeeding photos on Facebook.  After all, that requires Facebook to pay someone to spend time removing so-called obscene photos of mothers feeding their children naturally.  The problem with my route of action is that it was more a route of inaction.  I hadn't ever joined a breastfeeding Facebook group or posted photos of myself nursing.  

Until last night.

Despite boycotts and  the work of lactivists to educate (or just irritate) the people behind Facebook, the breastfeeding censorship was an issue again this past week when Facebook deleted the breastfeeding support group The Leaky B@@b.  After receiving complaints, Facebook reinstated the account, then deleted it again, and then reinstated it again (it's currently active if you'd like to Like it). 

Still, Facebook's actions this past week stirred up a good amount of drama.  My favorite response is this Facebook "Nurse-In", a week-long event. The event's site encourages women to change their profile photo to a photo of themselves nursing or, for those who support breastfeeding but aren't currently or those who prefer cyber modesty, the International Breastfeeding symbol.
I am officially Attending the nurse-in, and I posted one of my favorite photos of Tye nursing in the comments section.
Then I changed my profile picture to this, another of my favorites.
I don't think anyone but a breastfeeding mama will know that I'm actually nursing in this photo, but for those of us who know, it's a beautiful shot.  

I guess these actions put me in the Lactivist category, don't they?  They aren't much, but along with over 7,000 other members attending the nurse-in, our actions just might be enough to be recognized by Facebook.  Which would go a long way in relieving my Facebook guilt.


  1. i'm torn on this. i did join the official petition group but at the same time i'd never post BFing pictures on facebook anyways. i'm friends with a lot of former students on there and sometimes i think i'm overwhelmimg them with my baby photos as it is! ;)

  2. Well I'm a facebook user too and am not always proud to say so. But it does help to stay in touch with family and friends who are spread all over the world. So many times I've come real close to closing my account. The way I see it is they may be able to prevent pictures of moms nursing (which I also agree is beyond ridiculous) but they can't stop us from supporting and encouraging one another. When I went through difficult times with nursing most of my support came from my fellow mom friends on Facebook. In turn I've been able to also show support to others. So, they may be able to take away the pictures but the day they don't let us support each other and spread the good word about breastfeeding, I'm out of there.

    great post Em!

  3. Thanks for your thoughts! It's so interesting to talk about this and hear other points of view. When I talked to Tyler about it, his first response was "Why would anyone put pictures of themselves nursing on Facebook anyway???" Good question! For me, it's not that I wanted to, but that I think we ought to be able to.
    I have kept my Facebook friends limited to close friends (I don't want to share ANY of my photos with not-so-close friends), but I still don't think I would post any photos that would be censored anyway. Until now :)
    Great point about the importance of support not being related to the photos, Rev. Glad you found good support on FB. It can be a great way to reach out.

  4. By the way, the Facebook "Nurse-In" site has been removed by Facebook, so that link won't work any longer. It was a great site, where women shared their photos of themselves proudly breastfeeding their nurslings, with some really beautiful photos. At least I got to see it and participate before it was censored.

  5. Em, I'm so glad your raised awareness about this. It is shocking that nursing moms are censored in the media and on social networking sites. I love your new profile pic and am such a strong supporter of nursing (having nursed Charlotte for 2 years!!!!) Thanks so much for raising awareness. xoxo

  6. I just got a chance to catch up on your blog. I liked the leaky boob in support of breast feeding moms and the opportunity to post breast feeding pictures if you want.

    I think I only have one breast feeding picture and that's from twenty years ago. Wonder where it is?


I love your comments!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...