I woke up this morning to see that I’ve been banned by Facebook for 3 days.
They didn’t ban me for posting a breastfeeding photo. They banned me for sharing a LINK!
I had shared a lovely story about a premature infant’s life being saved by breastmilk after developing necrotising enterocolitis (NEC). I used HootSuite to post the story and didn’t think twice about what thumbnail was going to pop up. Sometimes, you have no choice over what photo is previewed. But, anyways, it was just an awesome story that I wanted to share. This is how it popped up on my page:
I know, the horror…a bare lactating breast! In a breastfeeding news story, none-the-less! How dare they post that image!
There are no Facebook guidelines, that I can find, that discuss image rules for thumbnail photos used in link previews. Most of the time, you cannot control what image shows up in the preview, especially if you share directly from the source using share buttons like these:
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. This Milk Matters shared a link to a blog article on a breastfeeding image removal and the offending thumbnail image in the link preview resulted in their admins being sanctioned. I also remember hearing about Facebook users getting “in trouble” for sharing links to a recent news story about New York City’s topless law. The picture in that thumbnail was of a topless woman walking proudly through the city street
But guess what! This removal and ban didn’t just affect one admin account on Unlatched…it affected ALL of them. I have one account that is banned for 30 days!
Breastfeeding advocates and professionals rely on Facebook to network and to educate the public on breastfeeding issues and information. Unfortunately, Facebook is hindering us in our work. We have to censor breastfeeding images and now we have to worry about sharing links to information outside of Facebook.