Breastfeeding group says Facebook deleted page

January 5, 2011 5:56:35 PM PST
Should women be allowed to put breastfeeding pictures up on their Facebook profiles? A local woman's profile, dedicated to breastfeeding, was taken down by Facebook, and she believes it's because she thinks it was deemed 'obscene.' The Facebook page, called the 'Leaky Boob', is back online, after both the page's owner and Eyewitness News asked Facebook about why it was taken down. The answer - it was a mistake, although the woman behind the page isn't so sure about that.

The name of the Facebook group page is tongue in cheek.

Jessica Martin-Weber, the page owner, said, "I would leak once in a while and if I leaked a lot, it would come through my shirt."

And yes, Jessica admits, there are pictures of babies nursing on her breastfeeding support page.

"Some people are very uncomfortable with a photo of a woman breastfeeding a baby," she said.

But the nursing mother of five says none of it is obscene, and certainly not reason for Facebook to take it down. But she thinks someone complained.

Jessica recalled, "We did have an issue a month or two ago where someone came on and said, 'All breastfeeding moms are bullies and I'm going to report this page.'"

Eyewitness News caught up with some parents to ask their opinions about breastfeeding on social media.

Mother Heather Edwards said, "I don't think it's obscene. I think it's to each her own. We live in a country where it's freedom of speech and your rights and your choices."

"I do see, understand people seeing this as kind of awkward," said father Mike Aquino.

Facebook responded to Eyewitness News with this statement: "This page appears to have been removed by mistake... We've restored the page and apologize for any inconvenience its removal may have caused."

But Martin-Weber says she's not so sure about that. It's the second time in two days her page has been restored, and not the first time breastfeeding advocates have had problems with Facebook.

She said, "Breast is considered obscene under Facebook's current terms of service."

In fact, an Internet search of the terms breastfeeding and Facebook pulls up multiple news stories of Facebook taking down pictures in 2007, 2008 and 2009.