MELBOURNE, Australia -- A group of Australian mothers is planning a street protest after the social networking website Facebook blocked the accounts of users who posted images of themselves breastfeeding, the Herald Sun is reporting.
According to the newspaper, at least 375 users have had their accounts temporarily suspended shortly after posting the photographs.
Some users said that Facebook had told them they were violating a term of use stating that members cannot post content that is pornographic or contains nudity. The site says it reserves the right to remove any content that infringes or violates the rules.
Lucy Allen (21) from Sydney told the newspaper she had her account deactivated for two days last July when she posted a photo of herself demonstrating that breastfeeding and pumping milk at the same time helped milk production.
“I use the photo a lot to give new mothers a visual example of how it’s done,” Ms Allen is quoted as saying. She has since reposted the photo.
Another young mother, April Bevin (24) said she had her images of breastfeeding forcibly removed late last year.
“It’s just really crappy,” Ms Bevin told the Herald Sun. “Part of me was furious, another part just felt pretty upset . . . To me it’s just a normal part of my everyday life. My kid was just having lunch.”
Both women are planning to take part in a “Boobs Out” protest and march on Facebook’s Australian offices in Sydney on Feb. 7.
Facebook’s actions have led to the creation of a ‘Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!’ group this week, which has already attracted over 2,600 supporters. Together they've posted more than 5,000 photographs of mothers breastfeeding.
The Herald Sun contacted Facebook and says it was told that administrators only removed photographs when they were reported by other users as violations.