Press Release: Facebook Continues its War with Canadian Breastfeeding Activists

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

Contact

Emma Kwasnica

604-2150433

[email protected]

Bunmi Laditan

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.


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6 thoughts on “Press Release: Facebook Continues its War with Canadian Breastfeeding Activists”

  1. While I completely agree breastfeeding in public is ok, there is something to be said for modesty while doing so…

    FB does have users with inappropriate pics, and not breastfeeding ones.

    As far as:

  2. Ahhh…not quite. Saying we need to be “modest” about BF assumes there is something immodest about breasts…that they have some inherent sexual function (they dont) that might cause men to feel, um, temptation. I have a 15lb 4 month old, a cell phone, purse, keys, and now I also have to worry about being “modest: because some people out there have the intellectual capacity of a neanderthal? Sorry I have better things to do.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again a million times. Sorry boys, tits are for tots. Get over it. It’s jut a nipple. In fact,last time I checked, boys have nipples too. Only theirs are useless. Maybe it;s the fact that we share an organ that only “works” for us that make our male-centered society so intent on controlling our breasts. If my child is hungry, no matter what I;m wearing, where we are, what we are doing…I am going to feed him.

    Suck on that.

  3. As Eve said, I do think there is a difference between breastfeeding pictures and breastfeeding pictures. There is the very tender ones, where nothing is really shown, where the connection between mother and child just shines so bright that there could be nothing wrong about it. Those are the kind of pictures you find in photo albums, that people have taken in studios, to preserve a very precious moment. Then there are pictures like the one above…

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I am for breastfeeding and do firmly believe women must stand up for their right to breastfeed in all situations. For a little one, not yet eating proper food, I would like to argue there really is no other alternative if breastmilk is an option for the mother (sadly not everyone can breastfeed or want to).

    With that said, I do agree with Eve about there being something to be said about modesty. I am not saying you should hide yourself away in a dirty bathroom, nor cover your little one with blankets to retain your privacy. That is just unreasonable demands from people who don’t understand the first thing about feeding your little one.

    Neither am I saying you shouldn’t be allowed to share pictures of your little one breastfeeding on Facebook, if you want to. However, in doing so, it is your responsibility to think twice about what kind of picture you are posting, how it would be interpreted in another context and how other people may react.

    The thing I feel strongly is that you are making a hen out of a feather. Facebook is not taking up the battle against breastfeeding. They are editing and monitoring, sometimes too quickly I admit, pictures that can be interpreted in a less than desirable way out of context. Personally, I think I would be rather happy that they took down a picture like the above, because as a loving mother you may not always think about how another human being can find such an innocent moment erotic, for example.

    Now, of course, I might be wrong defending Facebook and they might be persecuting women who breastfeed but personally, I find it highly unlikely. Probably it is a matter of the filters catching “breastfeeding” and automatically blocking all such pictures to keep things as simple as possible. Because, let’s face it, there’s such a wealth of pictures posted on Facebook each and every day that there is no way to individually go through each and every picture of breastfeeding to make sure they are as innocent as can be and cannot possibly be used for less desirable things than intended.

  4. I agree that people think there is something immodest about breasts. I don’t believe women should have to cover up at all. I did partially cover, because that’s what made me feel comfortable. But this country and it’s citizens could use a good dose of nipple and breast desensitization. The only way to normalize something in a culture, is to constantly expose people to it. I support your beautiful and playful breastfeeding pictures. I can not think of anything cuter than a toddler nursing who starts to smile…

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