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HEY, FACEBOOK, BREASTFEEDING IS NOT OBSCENE!

These pages are dedicated to breastfeeding women everywhere. They provide what is needed in the start of life. Breastfeeding is a very important act in nurturing children, and often a highlight in the life and memory of women, as the photos below suggest.

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Here we present the fifth page of photos banned from the social utility Facebook, as well as a few that haven't been. With several hundred million users, Facebook still removes from its pages photographs of women breastfeeding, despite complaints about that practice beginning as long ago as June 2007.

Facebook claimed that breastfeeding photos violated its terms of service if they showed "an entire breast." Eventually it dropped the vagueness and the euphemism and claimed that all photos with a visible nipple or areola were "obscene," "pornographic," or "sexually explicit." This claim by Facebook is at odds with legislation, case law, and actual practice throughout the USA. In addition, breastfeeding itself is allowed in public, exposed breasts or not, in almost all states in the country. By its attitude and action, Facebook is wrong. It demeans and stigmatizes women and breastfeeding.

In May 2009, the same Facebook spokesperson responsible for the above claims said that Facebook removes only a small number of photos of naked women breastfeeding. That would be funny if it weren't so ignorant. Facebook also claims that images of breasts harm children. That's absurd. Facebook wrongly uses children as an excuse for its immaturity and errors.

Facebook is undoubtedly a great utility, both useful and fun. Its worldwide acceptance on the Internet confers upon it a responsibility to do better.

The protest against Facebook's removal of many breastfeeding photos isn't really about legality. It's not even about rights. It's about what is right.

Number of photos in this collection: 416. Of those, 400 have been banned, some more than once. The few others are here for comparison. Comments from the photos' owners are often illuminating. Note that many thousands more photos have been banned than we have collected.

In recent times, whole accounts have been removed by Facebook over one beautiful, important, helpful, legal photo. Facebook also uses inappropriate skin-recognition software to present targeted users with many randomly chosen photos of theirs to delete on threat of losing their account. Unlike comparable sites, Facebook has appointed itself the world's moralistic photo vigilante, deploying these and similar tactics well known from large tyrannical European states of the 20th century. Its ignorant, crass, inexcusable censorship, which it attempts to justify with glib spin that is false in every detail, also indirectly supports the USA's longstanding dehumanizing manipulation of women's bodies and its high rate of violence against them.


Our NON-DISCLAIMER re photos

Many sites would carry a warning: Keep away if you're under 18! NSFW!

We don't believe in that. Women's breasts in photos like these bother no one except those who have unfortunately been trained to be embarrassed by them or to control them when they have no right to.


We posted most of the photos at the same height. We acknowledge that some appeared on Facebook bigger, and a few smaller. The effect a photo has depends on size, among other things. Also, we cannot guarantee how things like colour or contrast appear, because they depend on individual monitors.

Photographs on this site are not to be reproduced in any location or in any medium or format without the prior consent of the owner of the photograph, except as permitted by law. Neither TERA nor its proprietors, members, or site host assumes any responsibility for what is posted, with which they may or may not agree. Comments may have been edited for clarity or legal reasons.

FB133.jpg Photo from Wendy Jolliffe

Banned December 30, 2009

FB134.jpg FB135.jpg

More photos from Wendy Jolliffe (see above). These two were taken in 2004 and banned in 2007. The first (above left) was
banned in July 2007. The second (above right), an award-winning photo, was in a calendar of La Leche League a few
years after it was taken. It was banned afterwards, on August 26, 2007.

FB136.jpg Photos from Sheila Neumann

The four photos were uploaded together. They were banned on January 23 and 27, 2010.

FB137.jpg Photo from Kim Smith

Banned January 31, 2010

"This is my fourth photo banned from Facebook within the past twelve months. I recieved notice my account was being 'reviewed for permanent removal.'"

FB138.jpg Photo from Tennille Smith

Banned February 6, 2010

FB139.jpg Photo from Helen Schwalme

Banned February 5, 2010

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Both banned February 9, 2010: more from Sheila Neumann (see the others four photos higher).

"The one (on the left) of me nursing my newborn and my 18-month-old kissing me is framed on the wall in my home and has been up
since it was taken (eight years ago). It was a very special time in my life. My wish is that when they have their children, my girls will be able
to go wherever they want and nurse in any way they feel comfortable, any time, any place."

FB142.jpg Photo from Shannon Johnson

Banned February 9, 2010

"I am just sad that this banning is going on. So many women have a hard time breastfeeding and feeling comfortable doing so in public. The pictures I have seen have inspired me, and I am so thankful for the many women who nurse without hesitation! I was a scared mama three years ago, I was a prisoner of my own home b/c my daughter wouldn't nurse covered up . . . therefore I would never leave my house b/c I didn't want people to stare or give me dirty looks.

After having friends that were free breastfeeding in public and gaining a little confidence, I now nurse in public. I posted my picture as a "look how far I've come." I want to inspire other women who are nervous!

FB143.jpg Photo from Charlotte Thomas

Banned February 10, 2010. We're not joking when we call Facebook's censorship immature, capricious, ignorant, and nonsensical. Facebook is also deleting entire accounts of some breastfeeding leaders and of people who write in to question its policies or actions.

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FB146.jpg FB147.jpg
FB148.jpg FB149.jpg

Photos from Belinda Davies. You wouldn't know which of these six wasn't banned by Facebook, because it deletes
photos arbitrarily. The first four were banned on February 11, 2010, and the last (bottom right, above) on February 12. Nothing happened
to the photo to its left until February 19, when it joined the others in Facebook's "unsafe for children" category and was banned.

FB150.jpg Two photos from Nakai Rupp banned February 13 and 15, 2010

FB151.jpg

FB152.jpg Photo from Holly Aik

Banned February 14 and 17, 2010


FB153.jpg FB154.jpg FB155.jpg

Photos from Amber Gray. Banned (all three) February 14, 2010

FB156.jpg Photo from Nakai Rupp

Banned February 15, 2010

FB157,jpg Photo from Ana June

Banned February 14, 16, and 17, 2010

"I posted this ages ago on Flickr, and it's been making the rounds ever since. It was on a poster used by the World Health Organization in Turkey, a book in Italy, a billboard in Ireland, and posters in Great Britain."

FB158.jpg Photo from Shari Leigh Veal

Banned February 14, 2010

"My Super Bowl nursing photo. I'm absolutely appalled that someone can be so offended by a simple act of nurturing that they'd attempt to smudge it out of existence. So here's to you, whoever you are . . . The picture is back up for the world to see."

FB159 Photo from Renee Gawlak-Ghenciu

Banned February 16, 2010

"This picture was taken poolside while on vacation. It is my favourite. It is framed in my home. I think it is incredibly sad that we live in a society where this picture is deemed sexual in nature. Show me a society that disrespects its children and elderly, and I will show you a society that is headed for its demise."

FB160.jpg Photo from Denise Finzer

Banned February 17, 2010


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These three photos from Joelynn Nickel were banned (from left to right) on February 14 and 16, 2010, and November 22, 2008.

"The first pic is of me breastfeeding my daughter, who was 32 months at the time, on the toilet while in active labor with my son. The second pic is of me breastfeeding my son, who was 14 months at the time, in his Ergo while walking around Disneyland's California Adventure. The third is from my homebirth in 2008." [Note from TERA: it doesn't take much to connect the third photo to breastfeeding.]

Photo temporarily removed

Banned February 5, 2010

FB165.jpg Photo from Deb Reeves

Banned February 19, 2010

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