Posts Tagged ‘facebook bans breastfeeding’

Facebook hates us!

February 8, 2010

It’s late, I’m tired, and decidely inarticulate, so to cut a long story short, facebook hates breastfeeding and wants to wipe any suggestion of it of the face of the book.

It started with random deletions of FBers breastfeeding photos, proceeded to deleting accounts without warning or explanation, and then to the announcement from FB that images breastfeeding were ‘obscene’. In response, this group was set up to petition FB to change their policy. The group is now under threat, so this group has been set up as a back up. There is also this site, where you can see the images that facebook considers so digsusting they had to remove them.

Below is the official press release from the FB advocacy group. What else we can do, I’m not sure. Sigh.

Oh, and just for good measure, a more detailed report is here on the best darn breastfeeding advocacy blog around.

PRESS RELEASE

5th February 2010

For immediate release

FACEBOOK TO BAN BREASTFEEDING ADVOCACY GROUP FOR “OBSCENITY”

Lactivist group faces termination from Facebook after embarrassing the social networking site in high profile media awareness campaign last year.

The group of almost 250,000 members faces threats of removal after a media blitz that chastised the social networking site for its draconian policies toward breastfeeding mothers. The campaign, which garnered national and international attention in over 25 languages from various media outlets around the world, was featured on CNN, CBS News and the Dr. Phil show among others. Members believe the current threat is directly related to the embarrassment caused to Facebook’s bosses.

Administrators of the group, “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is Not Obscene! (Official petition to Facebook)” were told by the social networking site that the group was in violation of copyright infringement policies. When pressed for details by the group’s admin, Facebook responded by changing the accusation to say the group was posting nudity or sexually explicit material and sending harassing messages to members.

Ms. Joseph says she believes the harassment is due to the social networking site being embarrassed that such a large number of people are against their policies of branding breastfeeding photos as “sexually explicit content”. “We have no idea what they’re talking about and they won’t explain the charges,” said Gillian Joseph , an admin of the group, living in Edinburgh, Scotland. “We checked our pages but can’t see any copyright infringements, and we’ve certainly sent no harassing messages. Now they’re saying it’s because we’re uploading obscene photos.”.

The support and advocacy group, which boasts over 247,000 members from all over the world, wishes to normalize the sight of breastfeeding mothers and children. It currently contains over 4,500 discussion threads on parenting topics, and over 5,700 photos – though some of these have already been removed by Facebook.

“To shut the group down would not only end valuable support, but give a message to the world that breastfeeding babies are somehow obscene. It’s just absurd,” said Debra Balcaen, a Winnipeg resident and administrator of the group.

“It is unfortunate and hypocritical that Facebook’s administration has targeted this breastfeeding advocacy group for alleged violations when at the same time they happily endorse sexually explicit material from third party applications and paid advertisements.”

END

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

Initial emails from Facebook were sent on 2/2/10 to the administrators of the group. All responses were handled by Gill Joseph, and the full email exchange can be provided upon request.

During previous campaigns, articles about the group have featured in The Washington Post and Fox News in the U.S., in The Guardian and The Times in the U.K., and in The Globe and Mail and The Ottawa Citizen in Canada.

The group has administrators in Canada, USA, UK and Australia who can be contacted on request, but main contacts for the media are:

Gill Joseph email: kamagrian@blueyonder.co.uk

phone: +44 7800 987 844 +44 7800 987 844

Stephanie Muir email: babieslovemilk@yahoo.ca

phone: +1 613 761 9109 +1 613 761 9109

Please note that email may be a better first contact choice, as both women are mothers of young children.

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