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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Lactivists wage breastfeeding war on Facebook



Keep an eye on Facebook on Saturday. As we report here, there are plans for aMom_breastfeedingblog  virtual nurse-in from Facebook members upset with the popular social networking site for deleting pictures of women breastfeeding. That prompted a petition called "Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene." As word grew on the Web, the number of people signing up had tripled in one week to more than 61,000.

The Saturday nurse-in asks members to post a status line change that says "Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene" and post as many pictures as they can of breastfeeding mothers, artwork and even lactating mammals.

As Facebook is quick to point out, they don't delete all photos of breastfeeding, just the few they get complaints about or show an exposed breast. But the organizer says that's unfair to women who are doing nothing wrong. And they really dislike the notion that there's anything sexual about feeding your baby.

It shows how the online world is quickly becoming akin to the town square, where breastfeeding in public is legally protected. But as an expert in the field notes, Facebook is not the same as a town square, more of a walled garden members are invited into. The difference here is that the members can use Facebook's very own tools to draw attention.

-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:58am]


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