Facebook users may once again post breastfeeding photos with exposed nipples, after what appears to be a "quiet" lifting of the social media site’s nipple ban some two weeks ago.
"The female nipple ban no longer exists for breastfeeding mothers, which should make many people who have been pushing the company to address a nudity double standard at least partially happy," said feminist Soraya Chemaly in a blog post at hufftington.co.uk.
Previously, such a policy had earned the ire of many feminists as Facebook previously deemed images of topless women—even those of women breastfeeding—as promoting nudity and obscenity.
Despite not blatantly identifying breastfeeding photos as obscene or pornographic in nature, Facebook was reported to remove such images.
To respond to such actions, U.S.-based blogger Paala Secor posted a photo of herself breastfeeding her child, with her other nipple exposed. She appended the hashtag #FreeTheNipple with the following caption:
"We are proud to nourish our babies with our breasts and we will not be shamed for it. We will share our special/difficult//priceless breastfeeding moments with our friends, families, and community and we will not be told to keep them to ourselves."
Facebook took down the photo and Secor published what had occurred in her blog. She later on received an apology from the site’s Community Operations team, claiming that it had been an "accidental removal". Her post was then restored.
As of today, breastfeeding photos are safe from removal by Facebook, despite other forms of "artistic" nipple displays still existing. Facebook has also not given an official statement regarding the observed lifted nipple ban.
•June 12, 2014. Kashmira Gander. “#FreeTheNipple: Facebook allows breast feeding photos in change to nudity and pornography policy” independent.co.uk
•June 12, 2014. Sara C. Nelson. “Facebook Breastfeeding Photo Ban Lifted After #FreeTheNipple Campaign (PICTURES)” hufftingtonpost.com
•June 13, 2014. Maya Rhodan. “Facebook Lifts Ban on Exposed Nipples in Breastfeeding Pictures” time.com
•June 16, 2014. Mike Cannon. “Facebook lifts nipple ban: Breastfeeding photos stage comeback, thanks to #FreeTheNipple campaign” techtimes.com