Breasts. They're complicated.
Facebook states that breast-feeding pictures are okie dokie, just as long as there's no "exposed breast" that doesn't feature the child actively nursing. In other words, if there's no suckling, there's no posting. Today breast-feeding activists are using Facebook to coordinate "nurse-ins" outside of of the company's headquarters worldwide, including its homebase Menlo Park headquarters.
When it comes to flagging photos, Facebook asks users to flag photos as inappropriate. Then Facebook employees go through and remove those that violate the State of Rights and Responsibilities. Even though it's pretty clear that breastfeeding photos are fine, often times they will still be flagged and removed from the site.
Vancouver-based breast-feeding activist Emma Kwasnica is leading the protests. She joined Facebook in 2007; since that time, she has had a total 30 breast-feeding photos removed. Facebook has shut down her account on four separate occasions. One time she was even kicked off Facebook for 30 days. This is unfair treatment, especially since breast-feeding is an activity that users may want to share with one another. Breast-feeding is a routine part of a young mother's day-to-day life, so why wouldn't she include herself doing that activity in a Facebook photo? If anything, Facebook should advocate the sharing of these photos - they could help foster entire online communities of young mothers, a demographic that is in Facebook's best interest to retain. Breast-feeding photos are a natural part of a user's "online scrapbook," which is the entire point of the new Timeline.
"It is obvious to me now that Facebook really has lost control of their network, especially when their written policy clearly states they support the sharing of breastfeeding images, yet they say they cannot control the actions of their employees who keep removing breastfeeding images and who block accounts of the users who post them - usually "in error," Kwasnica told the Huffington Post. "This is exasperating to me."
Facebook needs to stop being total boobs. Or should they stop being total boobs? Either way, it's definitely time for Facebook to get with the breasts.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.