It’s Mark Zuckerberg against nursing mothers today in Austin, Texas. Nursing moms are up in arms over Facebook’s photo policy, and they’re taking out the big guns in protest.
Yesterday, moms in Austin held a “nurse-in” to protest what they see as unfair practices by Facebook. It all started with a Vancouver midwife, Emma Kwasnica, who has called on moms around the world to support her Facebook group called “Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene.”
She recounts that her Facebook account has been suspended repeatedly for the breastfeeding pictures that she shows, since Facebook tags these as obscene. As Kwasnica told the Houston Chronicle,
“This is discrimination. 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.”
In addition to the protests in Austin, there were others held at Facebook’s new Menlo Park headquarters and in various other locations. In response to the uproar, Facebook released a statement on Monday. They explained that their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities is intended to protect minors from content that includes nudity. The majority of breastfeeding photos comply with this Statement, they explained.
However, as Facebook explained,
“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.”
With this be enough to appease nursing moms who enjoy social media? Probably not – but time, and a few more posted pictures – will have to be the judge.