Facebook continues its war with Canadian breastfeeding activists
by Jodine Chase
Vancouver, January 9, 2012
Canadian mother and Vancouver breastfeeding activist Emma Kwasnica has been banned by Facebook for posting pictures of breastfeeding. Kwasnica says Facebook has an ongoing campaign to rid its site of photos of nursing mothers.
There is an occasional flip-flop. Today in the UK the American social media site apologized for deleting several breastfeeding-related photos from UK-based Facebook accounts – photos of little girls pretending to breastfeed their dolls. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/09/facebook-photos-girls-pretending-breastfeed
Kwasnica and several supporters in other Canadian and U.S. cities remain banned.
Kwasnica has had her Facebook account deleted four times and has also been suspended numerous other times. It has always been for breastfeeding photos that Facebook mistakes for photos of a pornographic or sexual nature. This latest action came over a photo of her breastfeeding daughter that has been up on her account for several years.
Although Facebook has recently apologized for several similar incidents, its way of handling breastfeeding photos is distressing for their users. Kwasnica’s latest suspension notice arrived when she woke up on Saturday morning and discovered the photo had been removed and she had been given a 24-hour suspension that limited her access. Facebook briefly reinstated her account but then removed another older photo and issued a 3 day ban.
Kwasnica says, “Facebook has to stop harassing women for posting pictures of breastfeeding. It’s that simple. They have to stop. It’s no different than harassing a woman in public for breastfeeding. We aren’t doing anything wrong, and it’s not right that they harass, intimidate and bully us because they have unclear policies and can’t figure out how to get their employees to follow them correctly.”
Over 2,400 people have joined a Facebook page to show support for Emma and other women who feel harassed by Facebook’s policy of disabling accounts and deleting photos first, and apologizing later when it realizes its error. A petition is also circulating on Twitter.
Facebook support page:
FB! Stop Harassing: http://www.facebook.com/StopHarassingKwasnicaAndALLBreastfeedingWomen
A petition is also circulating on Twitter at act.ly/5dj
About Bunmi Laditan
Bunmi is a mother, writer, and social media entrepreneur living in Montréal, Canada (by way of California). She has two girls ages 6 and almost 2.