Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Facebook Draws the Line at Breastfeeding

If Facebook's main purpose is to start conversation, then they do a pretty good job by enraging their members who like to bitch about the site to no end. Facebook is endlessly screwing up their relationship with users by betraying their trust through flaps over their privacy agreement, but they first caught flack for implementing Beacon, a marketing tool that posted a user's third-party purchases on his or her information feed.

Then in 2008 they had to go and aggravate a demographic to be feared - Moms. Facebook has a blanket policy against pornography. That being said, they view images of most fully exposed breasts as pornography. Thus, breastfeeding pictures are clearly porn. Moms were definitely not cool with this kind of logic.

While I appreciate that they are trying to keep it clean (and I sure do know a few users that have probably benefited from a little censoring) it seems a little unfair to peg one of the most natural things a human being can do as "obscene content." Apparently the 230,728 members of the group Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene! (Official petition to Facebook) agree that there is nothing wrong with these pictures and they should not be removed. So far they have staged two worlwide nurse-in events for the Mothers International Lactation Campaign (M.I.L.C.), one in December and one in February.

While I know that America can be amazingly puritanical when compared with other countries, public brestfeeding is allowed, though we aren't all comfortable with it. So Facebook is not even holding public lactation to American standards let along the standards of what is acceptable to the international community they serve. Much has been made of the opportunities Facebook's millions of users might provide for marketing and profit. That ain't gonna happen if they keep pissing everyone off.