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Mothers To Protest Instagram, Facebook Censorship Of Breastfeeding Images

by Carlos E. Castañeda
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One of the images the group The Mothers of Instagram said was censored and led to an account being suspended. (The Mothers of Instagram)

One of the photos the group The Mothers of Instagram believes led to an account being suspended. (The Mothers of Instagram)

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(CBS SF) — A group of women who were banned from Instagram for posting pictures of breastfeeding and diaper-clad infants are planning to demonstrate in front of Facebook, which owns the image-sharing social network.

The group, which calls itself The Mothers of Instagram, says it wants to call attention to the hundreds of deleted accounts and censored images of breastfeeding and babies or children wearing just a diaper.

The women and their supporters plan to bring posters of the images they say got them deleted from Instagram. The date of the protest has not been determined, organizers said.

The group also plans to call on Facebook’s Manager of Safety and Privacy, Nicky Jackson Colaco, to change the system that regulates Instagram’s and Facebook’s censorship terms, which rely on users flagging images they consider objectionable.

Oakland mother Mandee Tyler said Facebook and Instagram censorship terms are sexualizing the innocence of children and the natural act of breastfeeding. “Stop allowing your users to police your platform and do your job for you,” said Tyler. “Stop allowing trolls and unfair reporting of innocent photos to lead to entire accounts being deleted.”

Facebook recently updated their Terms of Service and community standards to address breastfeeding:

Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.

Subsequent to these changes, however, women still report their images of breastfeeding or non-sexualized body images are still being removed and accounts disabled.

Separately, a petition on Change.org from The 4th Trimester Bodies Project is calling on Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to stop the censoring of photos depicting motherhood, breastfeeding and postpartum images.

The petition says policies designed to keep lewd photos off Facebook and Instagram are misused to make women and breastfeeding moms feel like they’re doing something wrong – while at the same time highly-sexualized images of women abound on both networks as well as brutal images of war casualties.

The petition had nearly 20,000 supporters as of Friday afternoon.

 

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