Facebook Allows Breastfeeding Pictures After #FreeTheNipple Campaign
June 13, 2014 1:35 PM
Rogue moderators are still policing breastfeeding pictures, though
Facebook Inc. (
) is one of the world's top technology firms and owner of a social network
used by over a billion human beings
Facebook’s Community Standards
state all sorts of offensive things that its users cannot post. One thing they don't forbid is posting pictures of mothers breastfeeding their babies. However, furor has been increasingly growing over an alleged secret campaign by Facebook and its image sharing service Instagram to
delete breast-feeding pictures
, even those that are not overtly sexual or provocative. In many cases Facebook even banned or suspended the accounts of mothers posting these images.
This particular internet censorship
issue really exploded after celebrities began to endorse the campaign #FreeTheNipple. The celebrity nipple extravaganza began after Instagram in April suspended Rihanna from posting a photo from
her "Lui" magazine shoot
, where she reclined topless with pierced nipples. At some point the masses made the connection between that nipple censorship and the censorship of nursing mothers.
Other celebrities were shy about joining the cause in provocative ways. Scout Willis dallied about the streets of New York topless [NSFW:
]. Her Instagram was suspended. She started a new one. That Instagram was suspended.
Facebook faced a full-fledged rebellion after it took away celebrities' "freedom" to post topless photos. [Image Source: 20th Century Fox]
But all this negatively publicity worked.
Mark Zuckerberg was no sucker and he realized the reputation damage that the campaign could bring. So he puckered his lips
to the Facebook masses --
let there be nipples
And there were nipples.
But not all is well in the land of milk and honey. Facebook's policy change orders its moderator employees to consider the content of posts, sparing pictures that seem to be the euphemistic "tasteful nude" -- pictures such as mothers breastfeeding their child or women with mastectomies showing their breasts in solidarity. However, it didn't take long for such pictures to start getting banned once more.
US parenting blogger
Paala Secor -- who has 4,655 followers --
posted a picture of her breastfeeding her baby
after hearing about the rules change. Along with the post she wrote:
We are proud to nourish our babies with our breasts and we will not be shamed for it. We will share our special/difficult/funny/priceless breastfeeding moments with our friends, families, and community and we will not to told [sic] to keep them to ourselves.
A cropped version of Ms. Secor's posted picture, for those at work [Image Source: Paala Secor]
Less than a day later, the page was suspended and Ms. Secor received a threatening notice from a moderator telling her that her page might be deleted. She fired back, complaining to Facebook both directly and indirectly (via articles on the topic). She eventually received a response that acknowledged that a moderator had "accidentally" suspended her account due to content she posted.
It appears that while Facebook's administrators have come to appreciate human breasts, some Facebook moderators haven't gotten the memo. So as they continue their (now unauthorized) war on the human breast (and depictions thereof) the masses must strive to appeal these decisions. Until the rogue members of the moderator community are weeded out, leaving a moderator community that is on the same page as Facebook's official internal moderation guidelines, problems will occur. Work remains, it appears, to #FreeTheNipple on Facebook and Instagram.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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