Facebook Promises to Not Treat Your Breast-Feeding Pics Like Porn Anymore

With newly expanded community standards, the social media platform seems poised to crack down on hate groups, not images of nursing babies.

(Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

Mar 16, 2015· 1 MIN READ
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

Don’t worry, moms, those innocent photos of you breast-feeding your baby aren’t going to be yanked off Facebook—at least as long as you don’t show any nipple. Pics of post-mastectomy scarring are OK too. That’s just one of the clarifications the social media platform made on Sunday when it announced its more detailed Community Standards.

The platform's “policies and standards themselves are not changing,” according to a statement from the company. However, with 1.3 billion monthly users, Facebook realized some folks might be a bit confused over what it means when it says it prohibits sexual violence and exploitation, threats, bullying, hate speech, and nudity.

As far as nudity is concerned, nope, you still can’t post pics or video of you (or anyone else) having sex, and the platform will “remove photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks,” reads the statement. Sexually explicit written explanations of your hot one-night stand might also get your account deactivated.

In a bit that seems influenced by the legal dustup that has erupted over a posting of the 19th-century Gustave Courbet painting L’Origine du Monde—which was censored for nudity—the platform explained that it allows “photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures.” A French grade-school teacher is suing Facebook because his account was deactivated after he posted a photo of the painting, which is of a woman’s genitals.

As for attacks on public figures and hate speech, the Facebook statement said that “open and critical discussion” of individuals in the news or who are public figures is allowed. However, the platform will “remove credible threats to public figures, as well as hate speech directed at them—just as we do for private individuals.”

According to the statement, organizations or individuals who promote hate against people based on a protected status—such as their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or a disability—“are not allowed a presence on Facebook.”

That sounds like the platform is about to seriously crack down on hate groups. However, a quick search of Facebook reveals that, as of this writing, the “Arrest Convict and Hang OBAMA” page is still going strong. There is also a “Die Obama Die” community page and an “Obama Is a Stupid Muslim” group.

Users can still “like” the Ku Klux Klan, and the “Aryan Dating Page for White Men and Women” is alive and well too—“Mongrels will not be allowed to join. Your friends will be looked thru, if you have any non-Aryan friends, you will not be allowed to join the group,” states that page’s “About” section. Holocaust-denier community groups, such as “Holohoax - Exposing the Holocaust,” are still around too. Despite years of outcry against the strong possibility of Holocaust-denial groups promoting anti-Semitic ideology, their existence has previously been defended by Facebook.

In its Community Standards, Facebook advises that users continue to report offensive pages. In the meantime, the platform suggests that if you don’t like “distasteful or offensive content,” use the block button to avoid seeing it.