Moms planning to protest Facebook for removing breastfeeding photos

A photo that Emma Kwasnica says Facebook deleted from her account. It was taken during a 2008 Breastfeeding Challenge.

The internet has latched on to a controversy surrounding breastfeeding.

A campaign to organize worldwide protests has launched online, after Vancouver mom Emma Kwasnica claimed Facebook removed photos she posted of her child breastfeeding. Kwasnica says Facebook continually deleted the images, deeming them “sexually explicit content.” More than once, she was blocked from posting content for days at a time after Facebook said she violated photo guidelines which prohibit nudity.

Multiple Facebook pages and online petitions have sprung up, many of them administered by Kwasnica. She has re-posted several photos she said Facebook initially deleted. They show her toddler daughters breastfeeding. In some photos, Kwasnica’s nipple is visible.

The images are garnering ample amounts of both criticism and support. The photos have even sparked debate over the proper age to stop breastfeeding a child. Some Facebook users insist the act is perfectly natural and mothers should be free to breastfeed in public or post photos online.

“Why is feeding a child the way nature intended (and the best way for the child) considered obscene?” one Facebook user asked.  

Others strongly decry the images, saying they are offensive and should be kept private.

“Don’t you worry about the sickos in this world who would see such a picture?…I won’t even post pictures of my child on Facebook for public view,” another user wrote.

Facebook did apologize to Kwasnica for removing the photos, according to CBC News, but she is still encouraging mothers to protest the social networking giant for censoring breastfeeding images.

“I am not accepting the apology until they right the wrong that they are doing still, and that they have done for the past five years,” Kwasnica said. “They can’t just say, ‘We are very sorry.’ They’ve said it before and they will say it again. I need to see action and so do the thousands of mothers who are troubled by this.”

Supporters are encouraged to attend “nurse-ins” outside Facebook offices across the globe, including a protest on February 6 at Facebook’s NYC location on Madison Avenue. Organizers are asking mothers to change their Facebook profile photo to an image of them breastfeeding “in order to normalize breastfeeding in our society.”

“The final way Facebook can put things right is to ensure they adopt the only acceptable policy on breastfeeding images, which is that all breastfeeding images must be left alone,” Kwasnica said.


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