New Zealand Mums Angry at Facebook for Removing Breastfeeding Photos

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By Reissa Su | December 23, 2013 4:55 PM EST

Facebook has removed the breastfeeding photos of a private group page which left New Zealand mums angry. Renee Lyons, a breastfeeding mum from Timaru, has posted on the Facebook page Mummy Matters last Dec. 20 that her photo was removed. Facebook has also suspended her account and tagged her profile as spam or fake.

Another mum replied that her breastfeeding photo was also reported for nudity and pornography. Other members of the Facebook page had also reported the removal of photos with toddlers being potty-trained.

Breastfeeding support organisation La Leche League spokesperson Lisa Manning said Facebook's removal of breastfeeding photos was "disappointing." She said breastfeeding was perfectly natural so women should be allowed to share photos of doing something "normal."

Ms Manning added that there were certainly other photos being posted on Facebook which were considered more "unsavoury than breastfeeding."

When Facebook was contacted for comment, a spokesperson said the photos may have been taken down by mistake because of automatic filters.

In Australia, Facebook's act of censorship has sparked a campaign to advocate women who choose to breastfeed in public. The campaign is set to begin on Jan. 5, 2014 as a stand against breastfeeding discrimination. The move to take a stand began in South Burnett where breastfeeding mum Stacey Turcan, whose photos were removed by Facebook, resides.

South Burnett mums have changed their profile pictures on Facebook to a photo of themselves breastfeeding. Ms Turcan said it was time to take a stand against outdated behaviour. She said it was "ridiculous" for people to abuse breastfeeding mums since a baby needs to eat even in public.  

Facebook and breasts

Facebook seems to remove photos showing breasts even if the photos belong to a breast cancer survivor.

Facebook has ordered a woman from Auckland to take down photos of her reconstructed breasts. Nic Russell, who just turned 40 years old, has posted artistic photos of her breasts.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. Three months before she found out she had breast cancer, her two-and-a-half-year old child, Kenzie, was diagnosed with paraspinal cancer.

After turning 40 years old, Ms Russell wanted to "slam the door" as a significant ending to surviving a rough decade. She had her athletic body photographed topless in artistic poses with Auckland's beaches as the background. The photo shoot was her way of helping other women deal with getting a mastectomy to fight breast cancer.

After Ms Russell posted the images on Facebook, the social network contacted her overnight and asked her to remove the photos because they were "objectionable."  She was disappointed with Facebook for seeing her photos as objectionable, adding that she has seen more images that showed a lot of skin than hers.

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