A mother-of-two criticised Facebook today for removing a photograph of the first time she breastfed her severely premature baby daughter – because it apparently breached their nudity rules.
Emma Bond, 24, of Oswestry, Shropshire, posted the image with Carene, who was born 12 weeks early – but the social network deleted it the same day after someone reported it as ‘offensive’.
In a message from Facebook following the incident on Sunday, Miss Bond was told the image had been removed ‘because it didn’t follow the Facebook Community Standards regarding nudity’
The photo then went viral after Miss Bond uploaded it to a pro-breastfeeding group – where it attracted 166,000 ‘likes’ and 22,000 ‘shares’.
But when other mothers shared it to Facebook, they found their links were also deleted on Monday. However, Facebook has now performed a U-turn and reinstated the photo.
Miss Bond and her partner Ashley Kitchen, 30, were warned Carene would not survive more than three days when she was born prematurely on October 3, weighing just 2lbs 2oz.
So when the baby breastfed for the first time on Sunday, the delighted mother shared a black-and-white picture of the moment with her friends and family on Facebook.
‘She was born with an infection, she had a lot going on. We don’t know the outcome of the brain damage. But she is able to move and open her eyes and look around and feed which we were told would be unexpected. The original photo was only viewable by my friends and family who have followed my story. ‘Everyone was aware it was touch and go so I was sharing the special moment with people to show them how far she had come. It was the first time she had breastfed so there was a reason for me posting that particular (image). ‘It was a magical moment and to have it removed the same day for breaching nudity policies was really rubbing salts in the wounds. The picture represents more than just me breastfeeding my newborn baby. Carene is very poorly and we fought very hard to get to this point. I was upset when it was reported. It is something very natural and special and should be promoted.’ Miss Bond, who owns a children’s soft play centre with her partner, is still going to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, Shropshire, every day with her partner to see Carene. The mother – who has received hundreds of messages of support from around the world – said she was pleased that the photo had been reinstated and the website had updated its policy on nudity.
A spokesman for Facebook said breastfeeding photos have never been against the firm’s Community Standards, but nipples had to be covered or concealed.
In a message to Miss Bond, Facebook said: ‘The image that you shared was removed in error – it has now been republished.
‘The policy has been updated, Facebook modified the way it reviews reports of nudity to better examine the context of the photo or image.
‘As a result of this, photos that show a nursing mothers’ other breast will be allowed even if it is full exposed, as will mastectomy photos showing a fully exposed other breast.’