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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020

Breastfeeding protest held outside Facebook HQ

Around 40 people took part in the protest against Facebook’s removal of photographs of women breastfeeding their children.

Two women and their children taking part in the breastfeeding protest at Facebook, Dublin
Two women and their children taking part in the breastfeeding protest at Facebook, Dublin

WOMEN AND MEN gathered with their children outside Facebook’s headquarters today to protest against the removal of breastfeeding photographs from the social networking site.

The protest was arranged by the non-profit organisation Friends of Breastfeeding, which aims to foster a positive breastfeeding culture in Ireland.

Around 40 people gathered holding signs saying ‘Facebook doesn’t like us’, including male and female parents with their children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers with their babies.

They were taking part in a global protest against claims that pictures of women breastfeeding were removed from Facebook.

While breastfeeding pictures are allowed under Facebook policy, pictures may be deleted if they “contain nudity, drug use or other obscene content”.

Jolene Keating, general secretary of Friends of Breastfeeding, told that the group were delighted with how the protest went.

She said that while Facebook invited the women into the building and offered them refreshments, the protesters were disappointed that they were not given the company’s statement on the removal of photographs.

“The protest went really well. It was a peaceful protest,” said Keating. “It was a bit disappointing that no one from Facebook came out with a statement from themselves.”

The protesters joined people from around the world – from the USA to Japan, Argentina to Italy – holding breastfeeding protests.

Keating explained the reasons behind the protest.

The images that were removed were in no way explicit or sexual. On one of our fliers today was a very distasteful image of a girl on Facebook which wasn’t removed; however [a] breast feeding image was removed. This is the point we are trying to make. Facebook are stating there are minors on the site they have to protect and we understand that; however breastfeeding will never become normal if it is not seen.
We’re not talking about fully naked women feeding their babies. We’re talking about normal situations in a normal family. These mothers are taking pictures of themselves breastfeeding same as you would with a baby eating their first solid food or taking their first steps. It is a memorable thing in your life, you’re not taking it because you are making a statement.

A spokesperson from Facebook told that:

The vast majority of breastfeeding photos are compliant with our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Facebook takes no action on such content. However, some photos which contain a fully exposed breast do violate our terms and may be removed if they are reported to us.

Breastfeeding protest held outside Facebook HQ
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