Facebook shouldn’t ban breastfeeding

The University of South Carolina’s recent editorial about Facebook and breastfeeding photos, which you reprinted, could scarcely be worse. First, it quotes an old press release from Facebook. âÄúWhole breastsâÄù are not what Facebook deletes in those photos. The phrase is a euphemism for âÄúnipples and areolas,âÄù which Facebook was forced to state in a subsequent release. So, does Facebook delete photos with those? Sometimes, yes; sometimes, no. Facebook also claims that a woman breastfeeding with an exposed nipple is nude. Do you agree with that? Almost no state in the country does. Lastly, Facebook has said that photos of breastfeeding women with an exposed nipple or areola are âÄúobscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit.âÄù Such terms assume that womenâÄôs breasts are owned by men. The editorialâÄôs agreement with Facebook absolves that influential social website of responsibility and approves of it stigmatizing breastfeeding, demeaning women and furthering widespread breastfeeding difficulties and body phobias. Facebook has made up nonsensical rules that even it canâÄôt follow in an attempt to justify its unacceptable, harmful behavior. The banned photos, some of which are at www.tera.ca/photos6.html, show FacebookâÄôs action to be thoughtless and immature. Dr. Paul Rapoport Professor Emeritus McMaster University