Breastfeeding mothers stage nurse-in at Facebook Seattle

Print
Email
|

by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 6, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:45 AM

SEATTLE -- Gathered at Facebook's Seattle office Monday, a group of people protested the social media network's policy on images of breastfeeding.

In addition to holding signs, mothers staged a nurse-in outside the 101 Stewart Street offices to show support for women whose breastfeeding pictures had been removed by Facebook.

"It's a normal part of our baby's childhood," says Sonja Bugary of Bremerton.

One sign, held by a young boy, read, "Facebook you are meanie heads."

"I was offended when I first found out," says Emily Jacobson, a mother of two. "I was upset that they made me feel ashamed to feed my child. No mother should feel ashamed to feed her child."

The protest and nurse-in in Seattle was one of many around the globe Monday, including in Dublin, Northern California, Australia, and Austin, Texas.

In the past, Facebook deleted any photo that crossed a line into nudity, even breastfeeding. It was a policy Elizabeth Lacer found absurd.

"I see half naked young girls using their Facebook pages, I feel like they're pimping themselves out on Facebook. I don't think we moms are pimping ourselves out," she said.

Facebook changed its policy after complaints from users, allowing images of breastfeeding, but some pictures continue to be deleted.

"I just want them to follow their policy," says Bugary. "I don't want to feel bullied because I'm sharing a normal part of my children's lives with friends and family that are far away."

According to a Facebook spokesperson, "Breastfeeding photos that contains nudity - for example an exposed breast that is not being used for feeding - violate the site's terms." The spokesperson added Facebook does not go out looking for these pictures. They are flagged by the site's users as "inappropriate" and then a Facebook staffer makes the decision whether to take the photo down. "In the course of dealing with billions of photos, occasionally we make a mistake and remove a piece of content we shouldn't. We encourage people to re-upload the photos they believe were removed in error."

Meantime, one mom who tried to delever a letter addressing her concerns to Facebook managers in Seattle was turned away by a security guard. It's likely not the image Facebook would like to present.

"To remove our photos that we've put up is censorship," says Amy Hoyt, who trains doulas for childbirth.

"Facebook talks the talk," says Bugary. "They need to walk the walk."

Print
Email
|