Women activists have launched a protest movement against the decision of the Facebook administrators to disallow breast-feeding pictures found offensive.
Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene, cries an online petition. It says, "Recently, Facebook has started 'pulling a myspace' by not allowing people to post profile pictures of babies nursing. The pictures have been reported as 'obscene' and have been removed- their posters warned not to repost or fear being kicked off of Facebook.
We're wondering: what about a baby breastfeeding is obscene? Especially in comparison to MANY other pictures posted all over Facebook that really are obscene.
Facebook, we expect more from you, and we expect you to realize that nursing moms everywhere have a right to show pictures of their babies eating, just like bottle-fed babies have a right to be seen. In an effort to appease the closed-minded, you are only serving to be detrimental to babies, women, and society.
**Facebook, allow breastfeeding pictures, and stop classifying them as obscene!**"
Organizers of the petition also complained said some women had been warned not to repost photographs that had been removed from their pages or they would face being kicked off Facebook.
On the petition website, those behind the campaign assert, "This is an issue of critical importance not just for nursing mothers and their children, but all of us fighting for gender equality and freedom..."
Over 11 000 people participated in their first ever M.I.L.C. (Mothers International Lactation Campaign) event on Dec.27. The website claims: "Participants from around the globe joined our virtual protest of Facebooks discriminatory practice of arbitrarily and randomly removing breastfeeding pictures from member profiles and albums, classifying them as obscene content.
We raised our collective voices in opposition to Facebook by posting a breastfeeding image as our profile picture and changing our status line to: Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!
In addition to our virtual nurse-in, a live nurse-in was held at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto CA. Both events caught the attention of media world wide."
The site also provides a link for pictures turned down by Facebook - http://www.tera.ca/photos6.html
The petition has now attracted more than 80,000 names and over 10,000 comments.
"Photos containing a fully exposed breast (as defined by showing the nipple or areola) do violate those terms (on obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit material) and may be removed," he said in a statement.
"The photos we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain."
Schnitt said the company had called many U.S. media groups during the course of the protest to ask to place an advert related to breast-feeding that showed a woman breast-feeding her child with a fully exposed breast. None agreed.