Anti Censorship Initiative Against Facebook’s Ban on Photos of Breastfeeding
Photo Page 6 is a site dedicated to photos depicting breastfeeding that have been banned from Facebook. It’s getting a lot of attention today and is the top story up on Techmeme.
A lot of people have asked me in the past why I don’t post more of my photos up on Facebook. There are a number of reasons why I don’t like publishing photos to Facebook, but one of the biggest for me is that I’ve long abhorred Facebook’s position on photo censorship.
The breastfeeding issue is a perfect example. Breastfeeding is a perfectly natural thing for two human beings to do. It’s a wonderful expression of love and a biological part of life. It’s not obscene or pornographic. The fact that Facebook would employ censors to look for photos of breastfeeding in order to delete them from the site is bad practice and undermines freedom of art and expression. As an artist, I’m not interested in sharing my own photographs with a company or a site that would take censorship to those lengths.
The above photo is of a woman breastfeeding in Berkeley from the “How Berkeley Can You Be Parade.” I took that photo. I titled the photo “Ode to Facebook.” This photo is currently available for view on Flickr and anyone can see it. In fact there are 8,213 photos that I can see right now on Flickr tagged “breastfeeding.” Even though Flickr has some stupid censorship policies of their own (like you can’t post photos of children with cigarettes in their mouth) banning breastfeeding photos isn’t one their banned categories as far as I know. I just uploaded the photo to Facebook as well in order to see what happens. We’ll see how long it takes from them to delete it.
Breastfeeding should not be censored on Facebook. Facebook should publicly reverse this decision and agree not to ban photographs of breastfeeding.