Facebook was in the news a lot this week. Mostly because of breasts. The social networking site has been removing photos of women breast feeding as they are considered to be obscene under their policy since 2007. Perhaps the decision makers on Facebook are all men, but they obviously never heard of the expression, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. There are lots of angry women on facebook. A facebook group was set up by a lady, Kelli Roman, who noticed photos disappearing back in 2007. The group, “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding Is Not Obscene!” has almost 130,000 members. A spokesperson for Facebook Barry Schnitt, in an unusual move, commented on the campaign advising that they only remove obscene photos where the full breast is exposed but they dont remove many breastfeeding photos. I say “unusual move” because Facebook are generally non responsive to many non standard user queries
The campaign set up a seperate sight with some of the photos that were branded obscene here. (Yes be warned, these photos contain boobies!)
I don’t have kids nor have I breasts, but I do think that in many cases Facebook is creating a bigger problem than it is trying to prevent. Breastfeeding is natural thing and the vast majority of it have been part of the process at some stage in our lives. By banning photos which is generating publicity is doing nothing but creating bigger stigmas around breastfeeding in public, something which regularly pops up in discussion both on and offline.
See an article in the New York Times here.
But the Facebook antics doesn’t end there. Internet movie uber geek, Harry Knowles, had this Facebook profile closed down without warning recently. Knowles, the founder and owner of the movie site Ain’t It Cool, had thousands of friends on his profile and would befriend anyone who requested it. He regularly updated his profile and photos. However Facebook didn’t like it when Harry received many Birthday greetings and closed his profile down. Although Harry wasn’t given a reason, he speculated that it was because of the high activity on his account. Weird. More on it here.
So all this social networking is giving me a headache. Its now acceptable to send birthday greetings via your social networking site (instead of um, a text message?) but its not acceptable to breastfeed your kids or be popular. Strange morality issues there me thinks!
What do you think?