On the 22nd February the Guardian published this article- with the headline -”Let’s put Facebook’s ‘no nipples’ rule to test with your breastfeeding photos” and tagline “A society that is not prepared to accept the odd flash of nipple is a society that is not prepared to accept breastfeeding”.
The Grauniad said on their Comment is Free page -
“We received a staggering amount of replies to our appeal for photographs (in hundreds of emails overnight), something which makes our project – posting said pictures to our Comment is free Facebook page – quite difficult to handle: we cannot possibly post hundreds of photographs. Nor was it ever our intention to overwhelm Facebook’s small moderation team – the last thing we want to do is behave like trolls; as Davies says, it’s not difficult to have some sympathy for the gigantic task that is moderating a site with 845 million users.
Instead, we decided to use our Tumblr account to create a gallery (included above) of some of the many wonderful pictures which were sent to us by many mothers from all over the world – from Argentina to the US, France and Sweden. We hope that someone at Facebook will look at our gallery and agree that Facebook is the real loser here: who could possibly be offended by what they see here?
If we hear from Facebook we will let you know – in the meantime, we’d like to thank all the women who participated and sent a snapshot of their lives to us.
• Facebook have responded to the article with the following statement from Sonia Flynn, director of user operations: “Like many Guardian readers, we agree that breastfeeding is natural and we are glad that many mothers choose to share their experiences with others via Facebook.
“The vast majority of breast-feeding pictures posted to Facebook don’t break our rules, which everyone can read by looking at our statement of rights and responsibilities, so they remain on our site. However some photos, like ones that contain a fully exposed breast that do break our rules, so we will remove them if they are reported to us.
“Our rules are based on the same standards that apply to television or print media and they are designed to fit the needs of a diverse 845 million people strong community which includes people as young as 13.
“They try to strike a balance which allows people to share the things that are important to them on Facebook, including their experiences of being a mother, but maintaining certain limitations around the display of nudity, due to the presence of minors on our site.”
But there is one Facebook group that thinks that the Guardian have chickened out – this is what they say on their page:
In response to the hullabaloo about Facebook’s deletion of breastfeeding photos, The Guardian’s Rowan Davies issued this challenge Feb 22: “Let’s put Facebook’s ‘no nipples’ rule to test with your breastfeeding photos,” asserting “A society that is not prepared to accept the odd flash of nipple is a society that is not prepared to accept breastfeeding.” YAY! Hundreds of women sent images in by email. But the next day, The Guardian backed off and instead opted to put the photos up on its Tumblr page. BOO! We think the Guardian is a wee bit scared of the consequences of putting breastfeeding photos up on Facebook. What if the Facebook boobs take down the entire Guardian page – like they have done to The Leaky B@@b, and more? We’re not afraid! Did you email your picture to the Guardian, hoping to see it up on their Facebook page? Send it to us instead, firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll put it up here.