Facebook breastfeeding pic takedown gets backs up
Milk is off
Facebook has made itself ever so unpopular with online mothers after yanking breastfeeding pics from the site.
According to the Telegraph many users displaying shots of breastfeeding in their profiles have been threatened with banishment from the online procrastination mecca, while thousands have had pictures removed as "obscene content". As is customary on such censory occasions a campaign has grown within Facebook to make Zuckerberg's baby grow up and sort itself out - a group not unreasonably entitled 'Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!' now sports over 110,000 members.
This time a rather fluffier approach to angry-mom placation is in evidence, with spokesman Barry Schnitt gushing to The Telegraph "We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and we're very glad to know that it is so important to some mothers to share this experience with others on Facebook," before reiterating that "Photos containing a fully exposed breast - as defined by showing the nipple or areola - do violate [the site's] terms on obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit material and may be removed." It's all about thinking of the children, see.
"The photos we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain," Schnitt added with only a slight whiff of corporate passive-aggression. There was no suggestion that such users could be a little underpowered in the brain dept, and possibly subconsciously jealous, having been fobbed off with the bottle themselves; and clearly we would never imply such a thing.
Mothers have been striking back by posting bundles more breastfeeding pics in a 'nurse-in' protest led by Mothers International Lactation Campaign (geddit?). Meanwhile bloggers such as Canadian breastfeeding 'lactivist' Karen Speed, who was apparently booted off Facebook for showing too much boob, have been having a good old go.
The baps-out brouhaha has previously caused similar grief for other sites. Back in 2006 emo-tastic mope-hub LiveJournal had a queasy moment, and in February 2007 limping teen-oriented social network MySpace started pulling breastfeeding pics too. But as the latest controversy shows the internet has failed to nip this problem in the bud, etc. ®
It's fairly simple
There is a biological imperative to feed a small child when it's hungry otherwise it will scream and then eventually become comatose and die.
There is a further imperative for mother of small child to get out of the house to do stuff like pay the gas bill and nip to the super. These things may frequently take longer than the length of time the baby ape is not hungry - other people in the vicinity either then have their ears assaulted by screaming of hungry child or can eyeball the (usually reasonably discreet) breastfeeding of child, from which they can avert their eyes and get on with their lives. If, during this (usually reasonably discreet) episode, tit falls out of young ape's mouth, bystanders are required to ignore, sigh and avert their eyes or whatever (usually reasonably discreetly).
Anyone who doesn't acknowledge the biological imperative of child to eat is stupid. Anyone who subverts second imperative with 'someone else should do the shopping' or 'feed the kid from a bottle' needs to get a life. Thus, with some small amount of acceptance and decorum, we will all get by. I spent six years of my life breastfeeding a succession of sprogs in a reasonably discreet fashion and they appear to have grown up fine.
As for the facebook debate? Frankly, given the second imperative and the chance that involuntary exposure happens and everyone must just get over it...I'd go with get over it. And the complaining offenders should really look back into themselves and wonder what's wrong with their sad selves that they care. And the mums with boobs should just purge their friends lists and accept that not everybody likes them.
And 'think of the kids': I couldn't care if my sprogs see breasts, regardless of their age. They appear unfazed by normal stuff. If they see a new mother breastfeeding, the male offspring fail to see/ignore and the female offspring go 'aw, look at that cute baby.' But whatever. I'm past caring. I spent six years fighting these people's battles for them, now they can do what they want with it. I don't think there's any pictures of my nekkid breastfeeding going around t'internet though but who knows.
I appreciate the sentiment mate and normally I wouldn't stoop so low but ... ah what the hell it is a New Year and I haven't been censored yet...
One does not normally associate the consumption of milk by humans as being typically conducted directly from the cow. If you want to walk about town with a Holstein-Friersian on a lead and drop down in public periodically to stick one of her teats in your mouth then by all means, be my guest. but if I were you I'd avoid holidaying in India - just in case.
If we spent as much time & effort...
...on things that were actually important, we'd be able to actually improve things.