Facebook has blocked a mom after breastfeeding photos were uploading to a page she runs for new mothers, setting off a heated debate over the social networking site and its censorship of breastfeeding.
Kristy Kemp runs the support site Breastfeeding Mama Talk, which has drawn more than 4,300 fans. One of those members uploaded nursing images, prompting Facebook to block the mom who ran the site and keep her locked out of the page she created.
Facebook also removed the image itself, saying it “violated” the company’s policy. But a reading of the Facebook community standards seem at odds with this action. The rules seem to imply that there is a line between explicit pornographic material and things like breastfeeding photos.
The Facebook rules for photos read:
“Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.”
Kemp decided to press the issue. After her 24-hour lock-out ended, she immediately uploaded a photo of another mom breastfeeding. It was also taken down.
“It’s not right. I’m trying to do good for mothers and I’m getting kicked off for posting pictures of the most beautiful act a mother can do her for kid. It’s not right,” Kemp told Fox40.
The issue of breastfeeding photos on Facebook has come up before. Last year Facebook blocked mom Emma Kwasnica for uploading photos of herself breastfeeding. After the incident blew up, Facebook sent a clarification of its policy to HuffPost.
“We agree that breastfeeding is natural and we are very glad to know that it is important for mothers, including the many mothers who work at Facebook, to share their experience with others on the site,” Facebook wrote. “The vast majority of breastfeeding photos are compliant with our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Facebook takes no action on such content. However, photos which contain a fully exposed breast, do violate our terms and may be removed if they are reported to us.”
In Kemp’s case, the media attention around the issue worked to her benefit. Facebook decided blocking the mom was the wrong move, and reinstated her with an apology.