Friday, December 26, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008 virtual event

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.

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