PHOTO PAGE 14
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 eighth 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.

IIn 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.

FB234.jpg Photo from Sheritza Vega

English: "This picture was deleted on July 19, 2010 because it contains 'nudity.' They even made me acknowledge that my picture contains nudity! or else a huge warning would appear every time I logged into my account.

"The picture has been on my Facebook since September 16, 2009, but when I added it to the group 'Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene! (Official petition to Facebook)' on July 17, 2010 (same day I posted this picture as my profile pic), it was deleted two days after."

Español: "Esta foto fué borrada en Julio 19, 2010 porque contiene 'desnudos.' Ellos hasta me hicieron admitir que mi foto contiene desnudos! o si no una advertencia gigante me aparecia en mi cuenta cada vez que entraba.

"La foto ha estado en mi Facebook desde Septiembre 16, 2009, pero no fué hasta que la añadí al grupo 'Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene! (Official petition to Facebook)' en Julio 17, 2010 (mismo día en que puse esta foto como foto de perfil) que dos días después fué borrada."

FB235.jpg FB236.jpg FB237.jpg

All three photos were banned on September 2, 2010. They were taken of Kasie Monchak and her son by her husband immediately after the birth (left), about a minute
later (centre), and about 20 minutes later (right). They were removed after being reported by a "friend" in what Kasie believes was an act of retaliation for her
posting comments the other person did not agree with.

Even if these aren't precisely breastfeeding photos, they're close, and clearly related to breastfeeding. We don't usually print censored photos (the two on the left), but
all three are the actual photos Facebook banned. The uncensored versions are on Facebook. We won't say where, because then they might be banned as well.

These may be more difficult images for some people. Does that mean they have to be censored? We find the two on the left (in their original version) two of the
most arresting images we've seen. We thank Kasie Monchak for sharing them with a world that needs them.

On September 8, 2010, the picture on the right was banned again, and again around October 21, 2010. The one on the left was banned again on November 9, 2010,
and the middle one on November 10. We repeat: Facebook is clueless and careless, arrogant and ignorant.

FB238.jpg FB239.jpg Photos from Erica Henderson

Banned August 29, 2010

Photo from Katrina Fuller

Banned September 21 and 24, 2010

"Facebook did not delete any of my other maternity or breastfeeding photos---not even the close-up ones that were in the same file from the same photo shoot."

Katrina is in charge of Natural Nesters on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. We thought her statement worth reprinting here: "The mission of Natural Nesters is to advocate, educate, and support women to trust their bodies' and babies' instinctual abilities as a normal life process, empower them to make informed decisions supported by current, evidence-based research, and embrace pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and breastfeeding with confidence and success."

FB241.jpg Photo from Samantha Norman

Banned three times in August and September 2010

"The boob is incidental in this picture, and it's the last thing I see. I see an innocent, milk-drunk, contented baby. I see the play of sunlight across her face. I see her plump cheeks, rosebud mouth, and chubby fingers. I see a cute, funny, makeshift sunhat made out of muslin. If all you can see is a boob . . . perhaps you need to get your mind out of the gutter?"

FB242.jpg Self-Portrait/Nursing by Catherine Opie, from Kate Hansen

Banned September 30 2010

FB243.jpg Photo from Kate Hansen

On September 30, 2010, this photo led Facebook to ban Kate Hansen's entire account without warning, consultation, or reason. On the same day, Facebook also removed the account of Emma Kwasnica, who is probably the leading spokesperson and activist on Facebook for women's rights and informed choice in pregnancy, chidlbirth, and breastfeeding, among other related topics.

Kate's blog comments on this matter are here.

This photo was banned again on August 14, 2011.

FB244.jpg Photo from Kate Hansen

Another Kate Hansen photo banned, on October 5, 2010

FB245.jpg Photos from Bronwyn Millar FB246.jpg

Banned about October 1 (above, left) and on October 6, 2010 (above, right). A third photo was banned in early October. Facebook
refuses to identify any banned photos to their owners, falsely and hypocritically citing vague, fabricated notions of privacy. Bronwyn
hasn't determined which additional photo was banned.

FB247.jpg Photo from Janine Plunkett

Banned October 8, 2010.

"I have two sets of twins and nursed my first set 'til they were 20 months. This is me at home with my second set of twins, who were about three weeks old when the pic was taken."

FB248.jpg Photo from Barbara

Banned October 11, 2010

"After giving birth via a crash C-section to a 2-pound 31-weeker, I never thought breastfeeding would be an option. After fighting nurses and a lot of hard work (and pumping), she was only breastfed. Thanks in part to the wonderful group of mamas, 'Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is not Obscene!' we are still going strong at 33 months."

FB249.jpg Photo from Samantha Norman

Banned October 3 or 4, 2010. This is another photo from this person (see above on this page). This one was deleted, but a very similar one adjacent to it was not.

FB250.jpg Photo from Charity Gordon

Banned October 2, 2010

FB251.jpg Photo from Amanda Willis

Banned October 15, 2010

"This photo is of my second son, Sawyer, at the breast right before he latched on for the first time, moments after birth."

FB252.jpg Photo from Lisa Miller

Banned in early 2010

FB253.jpg Photo from Heather Anderson

Banned October 4, 2010

"A beautiful moment nursing my daughter while I hold her brother, who was born hours earlier. Obscene in no way at all, simply beautiful through my eyes."

FB254.jpg

FB255.jpg Photos from Emma Kwasnica


Banned October 14, 2010. We have over half a dozen photos from Emma that Facebook has deleted, and we've lost
track of how many times it has closed her account for these "obscene" photos.

Fb256.jpg Photo from Rebecca Berkley

Banned September 30, 2010

"Facebook removed this beautiful picture of my son and me enjoying our time at the beach on a warm 4th of July weekend. Was it reported because he's nearly 2 years old? Because he's black? Or because it shows a breast being used for something other than selling beer?

"I had him at only 18 years old. We battled thrush, a poor latch, and the aftermath of a C-section; so I am damn proud of myself for breastfeeding him. It is in fact one of the things I am most proud of in my life. So, to sign in to Facebook and find that I'm being targeted and attacked for something that means so much to me hurt me very deeply."

FB257.jpg

FB258.jpg Photos from Kristy Ranson

Banned October 17, 2010

FB259.jpg Photo from Alicia Lushington

Banned about September 12, 2010
FB260.jpg FB261.jpg FB262.jpg

Banned October 15, 2010

These are the work of the Australian photographer and art dealer Christopher Rimmer. He had gone to
Africa to photograph the Himba people of northern Namibia, with whom he spent five months. These
photos are part of an upcoming exhibition.

Chris objects "when an organization the size of Facebook acts as an arbiter of what constitutes art and
what constitutes pornography, especially considering some of the material and language they do allow.

"I am deeply offended that my work has been deemed pornographic. These were lovely people, fantastic
people, who allowed me to spend time with them. I'm offended for them."

Read the whole story here. (The newspaper in that link printed two of the above photos.) The
Christopher Rimmer Gallery is here.

FB263.jpg Photo from Christina Pond

Banned in August 2010

FB264.jog Photo from Sarah Jupp

Banned November 12, 2010. (Sarah's waiting for the copy without the photographer's stamp on it.)

"I have been breastfeeding my beautiful daughter Emily for 16 months --- exclusively for almost the first 10 of these, as she had some medical issues and could not tolerate any solids. When I married her daddy a month ago, we and our 80 guests (and obviously our photographer!) were completely unfazed by her breastfeeding directly after the ceremony and throughout the rest of the day. Facebook, however, seems to think a mother and daughter (or busy bride and flowergirl) sharing this precious moment is --- what? Obscene? Pornographic? You tell me . . .

This is blatant discrimination and could be very harmful to new mothers coming to terms with their new bodies and purposes, as well as to our society, by promoting the concept of breastfeeding as "obscene"!

FB265.jpg Both photos from Erynne Mitchell

Banned November 14, 2010

FB266.jpg

Banned November 15, 2010


Admittedly, not the most subtle photo out there, but it was uploaded into a private, friends-only album that I had shared with my
birthy mommy friends. It wasn't bothering anyone, and yet somehow it ended up deleted. I wonder if what they objected to most was the
exposed breast, or the fact that it's a 17-month-old toddler.

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