PHOTO PAGE 17
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 eleventh 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

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.

FB337.jpg Photo from Domenico Ferro

Banned (twice) April 6 or 7, 2011


FB338.jpg Photo from Meghan Schoenborn

Banned May 27, 2011

FB339.jpg Photo from Amy Swagman

Banned May 24, 2011, after having been banned a few times. Also on May 24, Amy's account was disabled. Then, on August 14, 2011, this photo was banned again.

FB340.jpg Photo from Mell Fraze

Melody Fraze has put together an amazing and richly rewarding collection called Historic Photos & Prints of Breastfeeding. It's on Facebook here. Facebook, of course, couldn't care less, nor does intelligence seem to have stricken its employees whose job it is to just close their eyes and click to ban photographs. This one was banned on June 6, 2011, with the threat of deleting the entire account.

The photo is from 1936. For further information on it, check its original location, the offending institution known as the Library of Congress.

FB341.jpg Photo from Lynn Heinisch

Banned on June 5, 2011, when Lynn's account was also deleted. The account was reinstated only after a prominent newspaper took up the story.

After causing this problem for four years, Facebook remains capricious, careless, and clueless.

FB342.jpg Photo from Thomine Robert

Banned June 8, 2011

FB343.jpg Photo from Amanda Barugh

Banned June 13, 2011

"I will continue to put my picture back up. I have been a member of Facebook since its inception, and I will be damned if I let them accuse me of being obscene by nursing my children. The most modest thing a woman can do is care for and nourish her children." (Photo by Eloise Smith Photography)

FB344.jpg Photo from David Brooks

Banned June 20, 2011, this photo by Ana Álvarez-Errecalde is part of a diptych titled Nacimiento de mi hija (Birth of My Daughter). The diptych won a prize in a photo competition about feminism in the 21st century, organized for the fall of 2010 for Fem 21, a magazine published by the European Women's Lobby. The complete diptych may be seen by clicking through here.

Philistine Facebook continues to make the USA look like a cultural backwater.

FB345.jpg Photo from Rebecca Orchard

Banned July 3, 2011. Rebecca's account was deleted with no warning or explanation: typical of Facebook's clueless and careless behaviour.

FB347.jpg Photo from Emma Kwasnica

Banned July 5, 2011. Emma Kwasnica is one of the best-known advocates in Canada for informed choice in birth and beyond and founded a world-wide (human!) milk sharing network.

FB346.jpg Photo from Molly Uncensored

Banned August 5, 2011 from the account of the Facebook person widely known as Molly Uncensored.

"My son was a full code at birth and is lucky to be alive now. This photo is of our first tandem nursing session. It was a beautiful moment! My daughter caressed my son's face while she nursed. She explored him gently and was so glad to meet him!

"Anyone who finds this photo so offensive that they have to report it must have something wrong with them. If breastfeeding is sexual, then a bottle is a dildo!"

FB348.jpg Photo from Cindy Alchin

Banned August 10, 2011

FB349.jpg Photo from Serene Johnson

Banned August 10, 2011

FB350.jpg Photo from Amy Swagman

Banned August 14, 2011. On that day, Facebook banned photos from Amy's Mandala Journey page and send warnings about many others. Facebook has figured out that if it sends warnings, it can intimidate people into banning their own photos and claim that it's not removing them. That nicely absolves it of responsibility for its ignorance, bigotry, and misogynist censorship..

FB351.jpg Photo from Kate Hansen

Banned August 18, 2011

FB352.jpg Photo from Kirsty Ren

Banned August 22, 2011

"What is so wrong with a picture of a couple of Pooh Bears? My daughter was never fed at my breast due to a bad latch (expressed milk in a bottle for a year instead), but I am so proud that she knows what breasts are for and feeds her toys, or gives them to me to feed. I am looking forward to November, when I will actually become a proper breastfeeder for the first time. I feel like part of the community already, though, having an innocent wee photo deleted by Facebook."

FB353.jpg Photo from Ruth Arenas

Banned August 23, 2011

Español
"La foto se sacó en una playa pública, no nudista. En España no está mal visto mostrar el pecho en una playa y por supuesto mucho menos alimentar a un bebé. Los señores de Facebook deberían entender que estas no son fotos en las cuales nos mostramos en una posición erótica, sino que mostramos en un momento mágico de nuestra vida como mujer y como madre --- tan maravilloso que es difícil no compartirlo.

"En cuanto a los niños, cuando viajé a Florencia dejaban entrar a los niños a ver el David, y nadie se preocupaba porque muestre el pene.

"Deberían tener un poco más de sentido común. Lo próximo será que nos pongan un burka para no ofender a nadie . . . "

English
"The photo was taken
not on a nudist beach but on a common one. In Spain it's not improper to show a breast on a beach and of course much less to feed a baby. The Facebook gents should understand that these aren't photos in which we show ourselves in an erotic situation. We are showing ourselves at a magical moment in our life as a woman and a mother --- so wonderful that's it's hard not to share it.

"As for children, when I went to Florence, they let the children in to see [the statue of] David, and no one was concerned with why it would show his penis.

"People should have a little more common sense. Next we'll be forced into a burqa so as not to offend anyone . . . "

FB354.jpg Photo from Yolanda McAlpine

Banned August 22, 2011

FB355.jpg Photo from Louma Sader Bujana

Banned September 3, 2011. Read Louma's excellent commentary about this on her website (in Spanish).

FB356.jpg Photo from Blair Hatch

Banned September 5, 2011

"Though I am not breastfeeding in the photo, I had been just prior to the photo being taken. I was topless. The people at the music festival I was at didn't seem to mind at all. It confuses me that it would be such a problem on Facebook."

FB357.jpg Photo from Jesusa Ricoy

Banned September 12, 2001

"I am a birth activist, childbirth educator, and doula who lives in London. Today I was notified of the removal of one of the pictures in my profile. Funny enough, it was the picture of a Chilean newspaper that interviewed me in relation to Facebook banning breastfeeding pictures! My photo is the one in the park [lower right, above].

I am so fed up with this absolutely distorted view of normality. Facebook and the everyday world are banning health, censoring motherhood, insulting women and children, and promoting a pornographic view of women and breastfeeding."

The newspaper article is from February 2011. The small yellow band is a website disclaimer obscuring the words « Esto ya es mundial » ("It's already global").

FB358.jpg Photo from Rachel Forero

Banned September 12, 2011

FB359.jpg Photo from Kimberley King

Banned about September 15, 2011

FB360.jpg FB361.jpg

These photos are from Jessica Martin-Weber of The Leaky B@@b. The one on the left has been banned a few times, beginning in March 2011;
the one on the right was banned on September 28, 2011. (Jessica is pictured in the one on the left.)

FB362.jpg Photo from Emma Kwasnica

Banned January 7, 2012

Although no one has sent us images for a few months, and some have assumed Facebook has become more sensible, it has not. Its grotesque censorship of breastfeeding photographs continues. This photo is from a person who is one of the strongest activists for breastfeeding and informed choice for women everywhere in pregnancy, birth, and beyond, and has organized a successful and now famous worldwide breastmilk sharing program. She has helped very many people and deservedly has a global following.

She has been censored by Facebook before. Its tactics still include removing with no justification whatever thousands of photos that are legal, beneficial, and important, plus blocking their posters and removing their accounts. Emma adds:

"I've just had a beautiful photo of wee Sophie nursing (using my 34-week Chloë-bump as a pillow) deleted, as well as been told off, been told to clean up my remaining photos, been "temporarily blocked" (24 hours) and, as always, received a threat that my account will be deleted if my insolence keeps up.

"The blocking me thing is new. I have been blocked from uploading content before, but never from posting out on my own freaking page! :( This is censorship in its most ugly form and I am just sick over it. I cannot post out from my page, nor comment on any threads . . . On my own personal page, this means I am 100% muted.

"This is a new level of censorship. This is not acceptable!"

On January 8, Facebook closed the account of Emma's colleague Jodine Chase. Here is Jodine's description of part of what happened in connection with that:

"Facebook presented me with a list of about 50 of my own photos and asked me to remove ones that contain nudity or are inappropriately sexual. 

"The photo selection includes pictures of Karen Speed, Monica Eggink, and Lee-Ann Grenier breastfeeding their nurslings at the Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton (BACE) event at West Edmonton Mall, "Target, Welcome to Breastfeeding Friendly Canada!" last week. There are also pictures of a Human Milk 4 Human Babies (HM4HB) gathering in Emma's living room in Montréal with Sandra Wesley and Jessica Leduc breastfeeding on Emma's couch, and pictures from the livestream of the presentation to Emma of the beautiful HM4HB quilt, with handcrafted squares commemorating milksharing and breastfeeding from all over the world. In one picture Jessica Leduc is breastfeeding her baby, in her own living room.

"Included in the list for me to consider for deletion are pictures of my husband and my grandchildren baking cookies in my kitchen, and even a picture of my daughter from the day she found her wedding dress."

The above photo was subsequently removed from the accounts of many women who had reposted it. Some had their entire account removed.

FB363.jpg Photo from Emma Kwasnica

Banned January 9, 2012

The accounts of Emma Kwasnica, Jodine Chase, and another woman were also removed, the latter two for supporting the first person.

FB364.jpg Photo from Jennifer Stevens

This photo, of unknown origin, was banned from the account of Jennifer Stevens and from the page of MommyLove on January 12, 2012. It was also banned earlier from the accounts or pages of countless other people.

FB365.jpg Photo from Dev Austin

Banned January 9, 2012

FB366.jpg Photo from Jennifer Stevens

Banned in December 2010, approximately

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