Facebook/Nursing photo controversy

Breastfeeding is a touchy subject with a lot of people. Of course, there are many reasons that factor into this. Ask one person what they think of public nursing and you never know what answer you may get.

Right now, there is a rather large controversy going on with woman who posted photos of themselves nursing their child/children within Facebook. According to Facebook’s terms of service, these photos are not allowed because they may show the nipple/aerola area of the breast. Groups have been formed all over the internet (on and off Facebook) and many bloggers have weighed in on the subject.

One of the people that has blogged about this happens to be TechyDad. Over the last several days, he has been working on a blog post called The Facebook/Breastfeeding Controversy: A Dad’s Perspective.  I must admit I was most impressed with the research that TechyDad did when writing this post. I am not simply saying this because he is my husband either. In reading the blog post, I learned a lot of new information. Head on over if you are unaware of the history and would like additional blogs to check out on the subject.

My question for you:

Should Facebook stop women from posting photos of themselves nursing, yet scantily clothed women in bikinis be allowed to bare nearly all? Please let me know what you think.

My answer:  Although I would not personally post photos of myself nursing online, I feel that the application of the terms of service set by Facebook is wrong. Implying that photos of a woman nursing or the act of breastfeeding is sexual is unjustified. Feeding your child is the most natural act and lumping it with sexually explicit photos is ridiculous.



Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the Mr. Linky there if you are participating. Th

 Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #30

Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+

  • A Maui Blog says:

    I think breastfeeding moms are ok –

    If scantily clothed women in bikinis is allowed to bare nearly all?, breastfeeding women should be allowed to.

  • Lori Downs says:

    I think breastfeeding women should be able to do it anywhere anytime!

  • Sues2u2 says:

    Had to do this one! Yes, breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world & I’ve done it all over the world! I wouldn’t post photos of myself either but what is the harm? Making this out to be a sexual act is just plain wrong! Nursed both of mine to 17 12/ months & 15 1/2 months.

  • The Blogger says:

    The problem is that people forget breasts were invented to feed kids, not for sexual play toys (although I have no problem with them being used as such).

    I think there should be one rule for all. If they’re saying you can’t show cleavage then no bikinis and no breastfeeding. If they’re saying you can’t show nipple then don’t show nipple – whether you’re in skimpy clothes or feeding your kid.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Honestly, I can’t understand why someone would want to post a picture of themselves breastfeeding. I think it’s a personal intimate time for mom and baby but that’s just my opinion. I have no personal problems with people posting them if they want to though.

    That being said, I can also see the other side. If you’re not a mom or a dad, you simply don’t see breastfeeding from the same perspective so it wouldn’t be viewed as an innocent and loving gesture between mom and baby. It would be viewed more as a peep show. I can understand Facebook’s decision. They had to draw a line somewhere.

  • Nina says:

    I just stopped breastfeeding my one year old. I personally am not comfortable feeding in public and wouldn’t share pictures, but any woman who is descrete about it doesn’t bother me. I also think any woman who wants to post photos of something so natural should and with out contriversy.
    Breastfeeding has grown and made such progress in the last 20 years, it sucks that an organization like Facebook is blind to something that is so human.

  • Diane says:

    I don’t want to get in trouble with any moms out there for saying this but, i really dont want to see that. that’s personal. no it is NOT sexual in any way, shape or form, but it’s also not for others to have to witness.

  • I agree with your perspecitive Angel. I also think that inrelation to Facebook, you are only able to see the photos of those who are in your Friend list/that you choose to see,
    so if you do not want to see G-d’s beautiful handiwork, don’t look!:D

  • RobMonroe says:

    (you can call this “the one in which Rob is asked to stop reading you blog” but I hope you don’t.)

    You are right, breastfeeding is natural and breasts are for feeding children. But whether people would like to believe it or not, they ARE sexual. That might not have been the design, but that is the reality. Trees are for producing shade and oxygen, but they’re damned fun to climb, too.

    I am 100% in favor of breastfeeding, if you’re able, and the right to do so in public.

    Facebook has to have rules, just like every other organization. There are probably people with new piercings of their nipples that they want to show off on FB, but they can not because of that rule. It’s a rule that you agree to abide by when you sign up. There are other places to post pictures on the internet, and people are free to do so.

    The bottom line is that they’re trying to keep the line clear, and they’re doing it in the best way that they can without things getting out of hand.

    (for the record, I think if I posted a shot of my nipple, which is even less sexual because I’m a dude, it would be removed as well. Actually, I’m trying to find their exact language, but can not. Hmm, maybe that would help their argument.)

  • TheAngelForever says:

    FYI this is from Facebook’s Content Code of Conduce (May 24, 2007):

    While we believe users should be able to express themselves and their point of view, certain kinds of speech simply do not belong in a community like Facebook. Therefore, you may not post or share Content that:

    * is obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit
    * depicts graphic or gratuitous violence
    * makes threats of any kind or that intimidates, harasses, or bullies anyone
    * is derogatory, demeaning, malicious, defamatory, abusive, offensive or hateful

    Thought it would be good to clarify what they stated. I was incorrect about the specific mention of Aerola/Nipple.

  • Abby says:

    I think pictures of breastfeeding mothers should be allowed. It is amazing that they allow scantilly clad women, but a breastfeeding baby offends them. Actually, it is not amazing. It is a reflection of how our society feels about breastfeeding. Breasts are so sexualized and then people get weirded out about a breastfeeding baby which is what they were meant for! Makes me mad! I am still nursing my 16 month old and you can just imagine the looks and comments I get when people find out.

  • Nancy says:

    As you may have guessed, I think if people want to post pictures, more power to them. I personally wouldn’t, but I’m not going to stop someone from doing it.

    My issue is this – when a baby is nursing, all you see is his/her head, and *maybe* a tiny bit of breast. There should be no nipple visible, it’s in the kid’s mouth! You see more breast in a skimpy bikini than when a baby is nursing. If someone is posting a video of the whole process, including the baby latching on, then yeah, I can see removing that. But I think this policy is ridiculous.

  • Janet F says:

    I think pictures of breastfeeding mothers should be allowed everywhere.

  • Heatherlyn says:

    People freak out way too much about breastfeeding. I think that the facebook thing is silly, especially because only your friends and family could see the pictures. I mean, I can imagine that some pervert might dedicate a facebook page to photos of women nursing and that would just be plain WRONG.

    But I think that nursing should not per-se be banned. Perhaps facebook should stick to their policy of banning pictures that ACTUALLY SHOW nipple (bikini pics that show nipple included).

    Personally, I think that breastfeeding is beautiful. But very private. I wouldn’t want to watch someone nurse unless they were covered up. But then, I don’t look. I don’t tell the mother what to do! I’m just glad she’s nursing!

  • Damselfly says:

    I won’t have a Facebook account for this reason, and I told them so. I’m sure Facebook doesn’t care, though, if it gets one less person! To say that a woman nursing her child is sexually explicit is completely ridiculous. I know there are photos on Facebook of women showing their clevage and somehow that’s OK — yet the cleavage photos can show more of the breast than the breastfeeding photos do.

    The Associated Press did an article about this issue and included a photo in the article that was banned by Facebook. Associated Press stories are picked up by newspapers all over the country. Not all of the papers may have included the photo, but mine did, and you could barely see any breast at all. What I want to know is if you can open your daily newspaper and see a picture of a woman breastfeeding her baby, how come Facebook is so touchy about it?

  • I would never post a pic like that, personally. (I’m kind of private that way.) BUT, I think a woman should have the right to if she so chooses. Breastfeeding is NOT inappropriate in any way shape or form. It’s not sexual or perverse. It’s just natural.

  • pam says:

    Breast-feeding is the most natural thing in the world. Babies have breast-feed since the beginning of time. Our society is way too hung up on breasts.

  • Heather says:

    I was just talking with my sister about how these days it seems like if you even hint at formula-feeding your child it is tantamount to child abuse (I’m not saying it is but you know what I mean), but then breastfeeding your child in public is considered indecent exposure. I really think women receive mixed signals about this.

  • Good question, but a little unqualified to answer (as I have not done this myself :). They have the right by me, but I do not particularly care to see it in photo or public.

  • I think facebook should only allow profile pictures that show you from the neck up.

  • Jennifer says:

    Sadly society is messed up and it has become “okay” for young girls to show practically everything and for breast-feeding to be something that should be hidden.

    Personally I do not allow my teens on facebook, not for fear that they will run into photos of moms feeding their babies, rather other “videos” and photos.

  • citystreams says:

    After reading your update (cool purple box BTW, how’d yo do that?) – I have to say that I don’t think breastfeeding falls in any of those categories. But that is my opinion AFTER having a kid who I happily breastfed for six months.

    You have to keep in mind that the creators of facebook and the target audience for facebook are not parents. They’re college aged kids. So they aren’t going to see it the same way.

    There’s no way that they could understand until they’ve been there. And it’s still something really intimate. I wouldn’t post even tasteful pictures of myself breastfeeding, just because it’s a vulnerable kind of thing for me. I didn’t even like using the word breastfeeding while blogging during that time. It made me uncomfortable to share something so precious with outsiders.

  • HeatherY says:

    Personally, I always wanted privacy when I used to breastfeed let alone have a picture taken. But that is just me. If they want to ban boobies, they need to do it across the board and not just against breastfeeding moms.

  • Tara says:

    I am very private when I breastfeed!!! But my goodness that does not sound like a very fair rule at all.. totally different.. feeding a baby.. and showing your body for sexual purposes.. Things are so backwards aren’t they?

  • kailani says:

    I wouldn’t post a photo of me nursing but I think it should be allowed.

  • although i find breastfeeding a very natural act and nothing to be embarrassed about, i don’t think there’s any reason to post pictures of a woman doing so. saying that, i can see the argument for both sides.

    i, personally, would never post a picture of me or anyone else doing this.

  • Louise says:

    A mother is legally allowed to breast feed wherever she wants. It should be ok on facebook

  • I wouldn’t personally post a photo of myself nursing but I think it’s acceptable if others want to. I don’t think a breastfeeding mom falls under the category of pornographic or sexually explicit. I think it’s a natural thing in this world.

  • JenniferR says:

    That’s a good question! I think it would be okay to post the photos on Facebook, as long as it doesn’t show too much. I think there is nothing sweeter than a baby breastfeeding, but good judgment should be used when posting these. The other photos of scantily clad women are the ones that bother me!


  • […] exactly what Facebook pulled once again. We all know the controversy behind their view of photos of nursing mothers, but this will impact even more […]