If you’re planning to post a breastfeeding photo to Facebook, you’ll no longer be at risk of having your page suspended. The social media giant has reversed its stance on breastfeeding photos following public backlash amid several high-profile cases.
It changed its community guidelines in late May to allow users to post photos of breastfeeding. A post on Facebook’s help page now says: “We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and we’re glad to know that it’s important for mothers to share their experiences with others on Facebook.”
Facebook never explicitly banned breastfeeding photos, but there has been a litany of complaints about moderators removing such images citing “nudity” and “pornography”. It has been among social media sites targeted by the #FreeTheNipple campaign, which encompasses everything from breastfeeding photos to singer Rihanna’s topless photos on Instagram. Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s daughter, Scout Willis, even walked the streets of New York topless to protest censorship by Instagram. The campaign has so far amassed more than 60,000 tweets and 5000 emails.
Facebook has ordered its moderators to consider the context of an image, so non-sexual photos will be allowed. But it may take moderators some time to catch up with the new policy. In the wake of the rule change, US blogger Paala Secor posted a breastfeeding photo that showed her nipple. Not even a day later, Facebook unpublished her page and warned it could be deleted. It subsequently apologised, saying a moderator had “accidentally” removed it.
The rule change doesn’t mean it will all be smooth sailing for breastfeeding mums wanting to post photos – they’ll want to have supportive Facebook friends. On the help page, Facebook says: “Please note that the photos we review are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other Facebook members who complain about them being shared on Facebook.” But at least complainants will now get the message that breastfeeding is perfectly natural.
(via The Independent)