Is breastfeeding obscene?

According to Facebook, the popular social networking site, it is. They have deleted the account of a Canadian mother who posted breastfeeding pictures on her profile. Ok, so maybe Facebook doesn’t necessarily think it’s obscene, but certainly they think it violates their user agreement. One excerpt of the agreement states:

You understand and agree that the Company may, but is not obligated to, review the Site and may delete or remove (without notice) any Site Content or User Content in its sole discretion, for any reason or no reason, including without limitation User Content that in the sole judgment of the Company violates this Agreement or the Facebook Code of Conduct, or which might be offensive, illegal, or that might violate the rights, harm, or threaten the safety of users or others.

And under “Inappropriate Content” they list the following:

While we believe users should be able to express themselves and their point of view, certain kinds of speech simply do not belong in a community like Facebook. Therefore, you may not post or share Content that:

– is obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit

– depicts graphic or gratuitous violence

– makes threats of any kind or that intimidates, harasses, or bullies anyone

– is derogatory, demeaning, malicious, defamatory, abusive, offensive or hateful

So, does a breastfeeding photo qualify as obscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit? I don’t think so, but according to the user agreement Facebook reserves the right to delete content with or without notice, and with or without reason (although they deleted her entire account, and not just the photos in question). Many facebook users disagree with the site’s decision, and have started an online group in protest – and the group already has 20,000 members! What do you think of Facebook’s censorship? Justified and appropriate or ridiculous and prude?

Via Aetiology



  1. Colourful Vision said,

    September 23, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Side Effects,

    We are seing way much more obscene pics every day…I think is ridiculous especially if the woman is doing it on behalf a non-profit organization..I will ping ur post on my blog…..

    Colourful V.

  2. Lily said,

    September 23, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks for the ping – I also think it’s ridiculous. Breastfeeding is natural and healthy, and should be encouraged instead of stigmatized. What’s funny (or sad?) is that there are so many photos that facebook members post on their profiles that could easily be considered sexually suggestive and/or explicit, yet they choose to target breastfeeding. What a crazy world…

  3. Colourful Vision said,

    September 24, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Your so right Lily…What a crazy world…It was my pleasure for the ping and I’ll be back reading ur posts…

    Colourful V.

  4. Anonymous said,

    September 26, 2007 at 7:40 am

    I couldn’t agree more.

  5. Anonymous said,

    September 26, 2007 at 7:41 am

    Well said.

  6. Paolo Pugliese said,

    September 26, 2007 at 8:10 am


  7. Jane said,

    July 19, 2009 at 2:45 am

    in the case of facebook vs. canadian mother.
    The jury finds the candadian mother….Guilty of child pornography, indecent exposure, and sexually suggestive/explicit

    Canadian Mother, you are now sentenced to a lifetime in jail with no visitation rights from any of your children.

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