Mama Knows Breast

Andi in the news

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CBS Early Show and The Facebook Breastfeeding Story

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Of course I had insomnia last night… and I NEVER have a problem sleeping. And I somehow managed to drop and crack my hair dryer this morning… but I made it to the CBS Early Show studio on time. It’s amazing how easy it is to get around Manhattan at 6:45 a.m.
If you were fortunate enough to be asleep at 7:40, here’s what you missed. The show did a story about the online protest of Facebook’s decision to ban some breastfeeding photos from the site. As of today, more than 95,000 people have joined the group “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is Not Obscene.” And during the virtual nurse in on December 27th, roughly 11,000 people put breastfeeding pictures on their Facebook pages. According to the protest organizers, the Mothers’ International Lactation Campaign (M.I.L.C.), Facebook is still pulling down some pictures. Here’s a link to those pics. And here’s the video from this morning’s show:

Watch CBS Videos Online
Facebook is clearly trying to have it both ways here. The site says it won’t take down all breastfeeding photos, just the ones that users complain about and that show a visible nipple. Does Facebook really want to put itself in this policing position?
A fun footnote to the day… I was on with media guru Jeff Jarvis who runs the blog Buzz Machine. (Waiting to see if he posts anything on this). He has a new book out called “What Would Google Do.” Today, maybe Facebook is asking itself the question, “What should we have done?”

20 Responses to “CBS Early Show and The Facebook Breastfeeding Story”

You did a great job! I am on facebook with some former students who are now teenagers (I was their kindergarten teacher)and I am frequently surprised by the things they post which are completely within the guidelines, and yet offensive to someone. Believe me,breastfeeding should be the least of their problems.

Andi, you were very eloquent. I really enjoyed the piece. Nice work. I hope you enjoyed the “exposure” (tee hee).

Great job! I really appreciated your wise words. I’m pretty addicted to both facebook and breastfeeding. :-)

You were awesome! So glad that you explained that moms post pictures of themselves breastfeeding because they are PROUD of nursing and doing something that is so good for their babies . . . it seems that Facebook never understood how innocent it is that moms post pics.

Great job! I would’ve been scared to death. After looking at that list of banned photos, it looks like Facebook really is just arbitrarily deleting any bfing photo of which they are notified.

Great job Andi! You made some excellent points and you were very well-spoken!

Two thoughts: 1) Facebook entries are generally only viewable to those who have gone through the “friending” process, which can also be terminated by either party at any time. Anyone who is offended can simply censor themselves out of the site where the offending content is located. 2) Professor Jarvis worries that we can’t find ourselves “where anyone can complain about anything, then everything is forbidden”. Apparently he has not been observing the twisting of rights that many of us already suffer through, where individuals can try and remove “under God” from the pledge of allegiance or require the removal of religious decorations from public places. Unfortunately the “least common denominator of acceptability” is already here.

As others have said, you did an awesome job! I personally don’t have a facebook account but believe that this is an important social issue. Breastfeeding should not be consider “obscence” in any forum. Oh, and children over the age of 13 should be mature enough to know that breastfeeding is natural and what womens bodies are designed to do. Thanks again for taking such a proactive stance on this matter!!

Great job, Andi! I thought you did a wonderful job. It looked like you were an old pro and had done this many times. You represented breastfeeding moms and their supporters very well.

You were totally amazing this morn !

You were poised, informative & really did a great job!
Great point about the other stuff on FB – I’m amazed at the drunken/scantily clad at parties pics some people post…what a double standard!

Excellent points by both speakers! But things were missed due to lack of time.
1. The banned bfg photos do NOT contravene Facebook’s own terms of service.
2. Facebook’s claim that such photos harm children is ludicrous. The lowest common denominator theory is correct, but the harm to children isn’t in seeing breastfeeding, it’s in being prevented from seeing it.
Facebook stigmatizes breastfeeding, demeans women, and both feeds and feeds off America’s massive and commercial breast obsession.
Some of the banned photos are at:

Well done people! (This is to all the people who have addressed the importance of normalising breastfeeding and removing the aura of shame that surrounds it). You have even brought it to the attention of the media… My congratulations. As someone on the group said recently, “4,000 babies die every day from being fed formula (cow’s milk powder with additives — which is a form of really dangerous junk food) — the is not just a life-styles issue, it is a life and death issue!” Well said Morgan (who posted that info)!

Jeff has posted re: your mutual appearance on CBS. He didn’t say much but it is at

Fabulous job Andi! You were so cool and well spoken. I get so incensed about it I might have started yelling!
What annoys me I think most of the removed images I saw didn’t show ANY nip so it seems like Facebook is making it up as they go along. I have a feeling that the people reviewing the reported images are young and not comfortable with breastfeeding so any breastfeeding photo that is reported will be removed due to their squeamishness.
@Marc Theriault makes a really good point that hadn’t occurred to me before. If one of my photos were taken down, I would really want to know who it was who turned me in and then I’d want to have a serious conversation with them. I’ve had people who complained that my status messages were TMI (funny stories about my daughter) to which I replied with… an unfriending. Most people who are now my friends on Facebook ASK to friend me on Facebook, besides which, they CHOOSE to look at my photos or read my status messages or posts. If you’re really my “friend,” you understand what’s important to me, whether it’s a story about my kid or a photo showing something that I want to show off (going back to Andi’s comment about moms being proud of breastfeeding).

Great work on the Early Show segment. I am really happy that you put in the WHO recommendations of breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months and then at least a year. Good information that always needs repeating.

I breast 4 babies for over a year each. I really never had any desire to post any pictures of breastfeeding them. I can not for the life of me understand a women’s need to post these kind of intimate pictures on the web. What point are they trying to prove. I understand all of the reasons for breastfeeding, but I do not understand why women think posting pictures of it on their facebook account is a protected right. I know that modesty and discretion are no longer mainstream values. I support breastfeeding but I think it can be done in such a way to not attract attention. The women who are up in arms about this do not represent all women who breast feed!
Don’t flame me for presenting an alternate view!

Thanks for being our public voice!

I finally watched the clip this morning, and just wanted to tell you that I thought you did a fantastic job! You were so clear and articulate, and you hit all the important points.

There is an alternative that potentially addresses this issue, and that alternative is Wee Web. Wee Web is specifically for parents to share their babies’ precious moments with family and close friends, privately. And, there is no breastfeeding ban. Worth a shot since you can’t post this on Facebook.

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