Facebook, for anyone unfamiliar, is a social networking site, a more organized and less gaudy version of MySpace. Originally started for college students, Facebook opened up to anyone with an email address earlier this year. You can post a mini biography, let others know what you’re up to, keep in contact with friends, upload pictures. Of course, not just any pictures will do; Facebook has a user agreement that includes a ban on “pornographic” pictures from their site.
This clause recently got Karen Speed, a Canadian mom, in trouble. Facebook originally took down photos it deemed “obscene content,” and then deleted her account altogether:
Not surprisingly, this has caused an uproar. Facebook now has a petition group to protest the decision (currently ~20,000 members strong), but those at Facebook don’t seem to be budging: Karen says they’re still deleting breastfeeding photos and banning other moms’ accounts.
And as a mom of three and an advocate of breastfeeding, Karen isn’t taking this lying down. Word has spread around the ‘tubes, and several news outlets (including the Toronto Star) have picked up the story. This is great and all and I hope the publicity changes some more minds (and encourages Facebook to reverse their decision), but it’s still pathetic that in this day and age this is even a story. Newsflash: BREASTS HAVE A FUNCTION. They feed babies. Telling women that seeing them nurse is nasty and “obscene:” bad. Encouraging moms to breastfeed babies if they are willing and able: good. Simple. So why is it that a story comes along every 6 months or so where this has to be hammered into more heads?
Clearly, the solution to this is more frequent reminders of PZ’s nipple so Facebook can see what’s *really* offensive. Maybe that’ll learn ’em.
[Edited to add: Doc Bushwell has another anti-breastfeeding story, as Bill Maher has come out against moms feeding in public as well. Check it out.]