This is bizarre to me. The beautiful naturalness of breastfeeding was considered offensive by Facebook (FB) and yet, daily, thousands of photographs of animal cruelty are paraded on Facebook’s pages in one guise or another with totally impunity. Grizzly photos of animals being abused are considered acceptable. But are they?
Some people complain to FB about animal abuse photos to no effect but when one person complained that the picture above was published on FB was offensive, it was removed without further ado.
I realise the debate is not black and white because:
- Some women are exhibitionists and post photos of breast feeding for that purpose and
- Some photos of animal abuse are required to get the message across, which is that it is abuse (a lot of people don’t see animal abuse as what it is) and it must stop.
However, there should be limits on the number of animal abuse photos on FB. Without limitations publishing these pictures makes things worse. The images normalise animal abuse and desensitise people; it becomes a norm. Or the pictures damage us psychologically.
On receiving the complain, Facebook’s immediate response was to remove the breastfeeding picture but they had second thoughts and reinstated it, stating that such photos have never been against the company’s Community Standards, but nipples had to be concealed! I don’t get that either.
“The image that you shared was removed in error – it has now been republished” (Facebook to Miss Bond).
Miss Bond, 30, who lives in Oswestry, Shropshire was pleased the company had updated its policy. She remarks:
“The thing for me is that I see so many animal cruelty or beheading or child abuse images on Facebook and report them myself but nothing gets done….But something as precious and natural as this is removed instead.”
Mumsnet, the well-known website for mums state that they are “not surprised” that someone had complained:
“We have a problem with photos of women breastfeeding on Facebook because they involve breasts.”
It is strange that female nudity in a sexualised context is all over the online media but feeding a baby naturally is outlawed. It seems we are frightened of what is natural and functional but not sexual. Perhaps the later is more fantasy and not quite real, making nudity acceptable, while when it is genuinely real we are offended. Any ideas?
There is an FB page in which people argue with FB about breastfeeding photos — The Ban on Breast Feeding.