Opinion: Facebook users gripe after breastfeeding pics removed

Are breastfeeding photos indecent? The boobs who run Facebook apparently think so, and their decision to delete images of nursing women has led to a minor backlash among users of the social networking site.

According to a San Jose Mercury News report, a small group of protestors congregated in front of Facebook's Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters last Saturday, singing songs, nursing babies, and generally making a ruckus about the company rule that forbids fully-exposed breasts on the site.

One of the protest organizers, Heather Farley, said that two nursing photos were removed from her Facebook page and that the site warned her that her account would be closed if its censors felt it necessary to remove one more photo, according to the Mercury News story.

A Facebook spokesman said the social network has no problem with nursing pics, as long they don't violate site policy that prohibits visible nipples or areolae. In addition, Facebook doesn't actively look for breastfeeding shots to remove, but rather only removes images after users complain.

Not surprisingly, a mini-firestorm among nursing proponents is brewing on Facebook. An "official petition" to Facebook poses the following question: "We're wondering: What about a baby breastfeeding is obscene? Especially in comparison to MANY other pictures posted all over Facebook that really are obscene."

And a Facebook user identified as "Morgan" wrote: "I have seen pics of underage girls practically showing their nipples on here! why is this ok? I think its wonderful for a mother to want to show off her ability to naturally take care of her infant, on the other hand, i think its disgusting and appalling to see a 13-year-old girl making out with another girl and holding booze! But i guess this is not surprising since facebook is ran by a man."

Bad grammar aside, Morgan has a point. Facebook really needs to lighten up. A simple content warning on nursing-related pages would be enough to shoo away its more-sensitive users.

This page reportedly shows some of the nursing photos that were removed by Facebook. If this sort of thing offends you, don't go there.

This story, "Opinion: Facebook users gripe after breastfeeding pics removed" was originally published by PCWorld.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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