Irate mothers breastfeed outside Facebook's headquarters to protest "nudity policy"
Palo Alto (CA) - The AP is reporting that a Facebook group called "Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!" (with over 97,600 members) is outraged over a Facebook policy that prohibits breastfeeding mothers from uploading pictures of them feeding their children.
Kelli Roman, 23, posted this picture (below) of herself breastfeeding one of her two children last year. Several weeks later when she logged onto Facebook, the picture removed. After contacting Facebook's admin to figure out why, she received a generic form email reply which said, uploading "obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit" is prohibited. It so outraged her that she started the group, "Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!"
Said Stephanie Muir (of Ottowa, Canada), "I think it's time we all get over this notion that women's breasts are dangerous and harmful for children to see." According to Muir, more than 11,000 people participated in something called a "virtual nurse-in." They swapped out their normal Facebook profile picture with one depicting breast-feeding.
In Palo Alto, California, the headquarters of Facebook, a 23 year old mother named Heather Farley, along with 10 other women, showed up to breastfeed their babies right outside of Facebook's front door. This drew attention from local media, passers by and Facebook employees.
Barry Schnitt, a Facebook spokesman, said the company's guidelines allow most breast-feeding photos. However, he says Facebook draws the line at a visible nipple or areola. Facebook also removes pictures showing the gluteal cleft.
Schnitt continued, "We decided [years ago that] nudity was something we didn't want on the site. It doesn't matter the context. We would agree that there are absolutely many contexts for nudity where it is not obscene." He emphasized the impracticality of convening a panel to decide relevancy of every nude photo on a case-by-case basis.
See the original AP story.