Feeds

Facebook boobs over breastfeeding page... again

Leaky breasted mums have their 'obscene' accounts deleted

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Facebook had one of its nipple-related related brainstorms last week, banning, unbanning, then re-banning breastfeeding support group, The Leaky Boob.

The Leaky Boob group allows almost 11,000 mothers to share their experiences on breastfeeding – as well as providing casual visitors with a treasure trove of advice and tips. Well, it would do, if Facebook didn’t keep deleting it – as they did the previous weekend.

This provoked an angry reaction from the tens of thousands of women who use the page for information and support.

Breastfeeding supporters responded swiftly, creating two pages on Facebook, Bring Back the Leaky Boob and TLB Support, which gained the best part of 10,000 fans in just two days.

On Tuesday, according to group founder Jessica Martin-Weber, the page was back up.

On Wednesday it was gone again.

Then, later in the day, it returned and is still up today.

On both occasions, Martin-Weber claimed that she had received the same form letter explaining how the site had been deleted "for violating the terms of service".

In addition, she blogged angrily of how "Several "Leakies" .. had their accounts disabled after receiving warnings for supposed obscene photos. Just like TLB, they received the non-specific form letter via email informing them that their accounts had been deleted for violating the terms of service.

Martin-Weber said that these individuals, "along with numerous other group and business pages", have had their accounts deactivated "because someone decided that their breastfeeding photo or information was vulgar".

Judy P Masucci, president and owner of online business "A Mother’s Boutique" also had her Facebook page shut down last summer. Writing on her own site, Masucci urged readers to write to Facebook and "respectfully ask that breastfeeding support groups be treated with respect and be exempt from the 'rules' Facebook has about posting words like 'breast' or showing photos that might have a little breast exposed in them".

She adds: "These sites provide invaluable resources to moms."

Meanwhile, Martin-Weber said there was nothing on her page that would compare with the content of sites such as Facebook’s Playboy page. She adds: "The first media coverage I could find on this problem dates back to 2007. You would think Facebook would get tired of this and make some necessary changes. Four years is long enough: fix it."

By way of response, Facebook issued a statement which read: "Our reviewers look at tens of thousands of pieces of content a day that are reported to them and take action according to our policies, which are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe and trusted environment for everyone, including the many children (under the age of 13)* who use the service.

"Of course, we make an occasional mistake. This is an example. When this happens, and it’s brought to our attention, we work quickly to resolve the issue. In this case, we restored the page and reactivated the accounts of the people who were impacted. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this mistake caused."

Previous mistakes of this sort have led to Facebook being condemned in influential newspapers such as the Guardian and New York Times – and the NYT were quick to pick this story up again.

It seems that Facebook reviewers have no system in place warning each other not to "re-delete" groups which have already been deleted and "undeleted". The commercial threat is clear: it cannot be good for their business model if the social network is disorganised and arbitrary in its appraisal of what is obscene and what is not. And cracking down on nursing mothers is hardly good PR for the site... ®

Boobnote

Oh dear: a small typo over at the Facebook press office almost gave us our first highly embarrassing social networking scoop of 2011. However, it would appear that when Facebook refer to the “many children (under the age of 13)” who use their service, they actually meant “OVER the age of 13”. Glad to put that right.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.