Yesterday we published a comment piece about Facebook’s recently leaked documents, which appear to reveal Facebook’s image and post approval system. As the author Rowan Davies points out, right there, sandwiched between “depiction of sexual assault or rape” and “bestiality, necrophilia and pedophilia” is “breastfeeding photos showing other nudity, or nipple clearly exposed”. In other words - pictures depicting babies being breastfed can be removed. This appears to be an active policy, as illustrated by the picture below (but please note, male nipples in any shape or form seem to be allowed):
Not surprisingly, this irritated a lot of people on our desk. We wanted to see if these feelings were shared, so we called on our readers and asked them to send us pictures of them breastfeeding. This quickly became one of our most read article on our Facebook app, with most readers agreeing with the writer.
We received a staggering amount of replies to our appeal for photographs (in the hundreds overnight), something which makes our project – posting said pictures to our Comment is free Facebook page – quite difficult to handle: we cannot possibly post hundreds of photographs … nor was it ever our intention to overwhelm Facebook’s small moderation team - the last thing we want to do is behave like trolls; as Rowan Davies says, it’s not difficult to have some sympathy for the gigantic task that is moderating a site with 845 million users.
Instead, we decided to use Tumblr to create a gallery (unfortunately limited to ten pictures) of some of the many wonderul pictures which were sent to us by many mothers from all over the world - from Argentina to the US, France and Sweden. We hope that someone at Facebook will look at our gallery and agree that Facebook is the real loser here: who could possibly be offended by what they see here?
If we hear from Facebook we will let you know - in the meantime, we’d like to thank all the women who participated and sent a snapshot of their lives to us.