BY WILL OREMUS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Facebook is accustomed to parents complaining about racy photographs posted on its site, but now some mothers are seething over revealing pictures it refuses to allow on its pages.
A group called the Mothers International Lactation Campaign, or MILC, is planning a “nurse-in” outside the social network’s Palo Alto offices to protest its removal of user-posted images that show women breastfeeding their babies. The demonstration, planned for Dec. 27, will also have a virtual component, as thousands of people across the Web make nursing photos their main profile picture.
The protesters say breastfeeding is not obscene, and Facebook’s removal of their pictures sends the wrong message to mothers everywhere.
A Facebook spokesman on Tuesday clarified that the site does allow breastfeeding photos as long as they don’t show a fully exposed breast.
MILC organizer Heather Farley of Provo, Utah, said she was surprised last month when Face-book took down two photos of her nursing her 6month-old daughter, one of which was her profile picture.“Where I live, I can breast-feed in public or private, and there are laws that say it’s not obscene or lewd or indecent,” said Farley, 23. “If I can do it in public, why can’t I do it on Facebook?”
Censoring such images, she said, reinforces stigmas that discourage mothers from a healthy, natural practice. Angry at the site, but not wanting to lose her online friend network by unsubscribing, she took action by joining like-minded mothers in a Facebook based petition called “Hey, Facebook, breast-feeding is not obscene!”As of Tuesday, the group had more than 53,000 members.
Farley isn’t sure how many will turn out for the nurse-in, planned for 11 a.m. on Dec. 27 at 156 UniversityAve., but she’s hoping for at least 20. She said more than 2,000 have already signed up for the virtual protest.
Facebook had no comment on the planned demonstration.