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Thoughts on the Facebook Nurse In

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This is a post I’ve written for the NYC Moms Blog. It should appear on that site shortly.
I love Facebook. It helps me stay in touch with friends and find people I haven’t spoken to in years. It gives me a platform to promote my book and share my thoughts. And most importantly, it provides an unrivaled distraction and procrastination technique when I’m working.
But lately, Facebook has let me down. From what I understand, the site is removing breastfeeding photos that some moms want to put on their pages. And so, these moms are getting together for a cyber “nurse in.” They’re protesting Facebook’s policy on December 27th by changing their profile pictures to breastfeeding pictures. Some plan to even gather outside the Palo Alto offices.
Despite my general appreciation for all things Facebook, I changed my profile picture. And my husband did, too. We put up an illustration of a nursing mom. (The one photo we have of me nursing seems to be lost in the digital universe of my computer).
I think Facebook is missing a big opportunity here. Moms love to share pictures of their kids, and sometimes, that includes nursing photographs. And why not? Remember, humans are mammals. We breastfeed. It’s how we survived long before formula was invented. And so, we breastfeed at home and even in public. In fact, our right to breastfeed in public is protected by law in most states.
So what’s the big deal? Apparently Facebook is concerned about some photos, but not all. Here’s a statement Facebook gave to the New York Times.
Breastfeeding is a natural and beautiful act and we’re very glad to know that it is so important to some mothers to share this experience with others on Facebook. We take no action on the vast majority of breastfeeding photos because they follow the site’s Terms of Use. Photos containing a fully exposed breast do violate those Terms and may be removed. These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users, including the many children (over the age of 13) who use the site. The photos we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain.
It will be interesting to see if something changes as a result of the efforts of this group, the Mothers International Lactation Campaign. (Type either this phrase, or M.I.L.C. into the search bar on Facebook if you want to find it). Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. Either way, this event has people talking about breastfeeding. And that, certainly, is a positive thing. Photos or no photos.
(As the day goes on, leave a comment here with a link to any news story you might find on this topic. Thanks!)



One Response to “Thoughts on the Facebook Nurse In”

On a slightly related note, I am wondering why a site called “mama knows breast” features a photo of nappied baby bottoms in it’s header when it would seem far more appropriate (and lets face it, far more adorable) to see some little faces at the breast?

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