Facebook has removed breastfeeding photos from a private
group page for mums, sparking anger from members.
Renee Lyons from Timaru, a member of the Mummy Matters group,
posted on Friday that her breastfeeding picture was removed,
her account suspended and she was reported for having a scam
or fake profile.
She said she had to answer test questions to be allowed back
Another woman said a photo she posted of herself
breastfeeding was also reported as nudity and pornography.
The private Facebook group for mothers has almost 3500
members, and says it aims to be a positive place for mums and
mums-to-be to post and ask questions.
Facebook's action prompted a strong response from other
members, with one saying their photos of a toddler potty
training had been reported, while other members said they
would deliberately post breastfeeding pictures in support.
One member said as a first-time mother she found it helpful
to see photos of other mums breastfeeding.
Lisa Manning, a spokeswoman for breastfeeding support
organisation La Leche League, said removing the photos was
"It's a perfectly natural thing so why can women not share
the photographs that they want to that are perfectly descent,
doing something that's perfectly normal?
"I think it demonstrates that we don't live in a
breastfeeding culture. It's still something that,
unfortunately, people pass judgement on. All we would want is
for people to accept mothers who are just trying to do the
best for their children.
"I'm sure there are a lot of other things on Facebook that
are a lot more unsavoury to people than breastfeeding."
A Facebook spokeswoman said it was possible the photos were
taken down by mistake.
She was adamant the company allowed pictures of breastfeeding
"We absolutely allow photos of breastfeeding and we support
"We have automatic filters at Facebook that filter out nudity
and occasionally the filters get it wrong."
The company would not be able to confirm why the photos had
been removed until the information had been analysed at
Facebook headquarters in the United States.
Last year a Sydney woman's account was suspended after she
posted a photo of herself breastfeeding her toddler while
expressing milk from the other breast.
The reaction prompted a 'Boob Out' protest outside the social
media company's Sydney office.
Facebook's online information says a fully-exposed breast
where the child is not actively nursing violates its terms.
It said the photos reviewed were almost exclusively brought
to its attention through complaints by other Facebook
- Matthew Theunissen and Rebecca Quilliam of APNZ