A simmering Facebook controversy came to a...head?
Female Facebook users are up in....arms?
Sigh. It's hard to write about this seriously.
Today was the live and virtual nurse-in on Facebook, as a protest against the social networking site's policy forbidding pictures of nursing moms (reports vary on whether it's when the whole breast is exposed, the areola, or what). Participants were supposed to change their profile picture to show themselves nursing, while a group of women also planned to hold a live protest at Facebook headquarters, which reportedly only a handful of women attended.
According to the event's page on Facebook, some 10,000 women said they would participate, though it is not clear how many of them actually changed their profile pictures; looking at the list of RSVPs, the majority of pictures do not show nursing. The sponsoring group, "Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!" had 70,057 members as of Saturday night.
The whole situation started last summer, when reports began circulating that women were finding that profile pictures and other pictures showing them breastfeeding were being removed by Facebook. Some women were kicked off of Facebook as well. The "Hey, Facebook" group was formed in June to create a place to track the reports.
It is not clear why the group chose today for the event, which it said was intended to raise awareness of the situation.
One thing is for sure (and other social networking sites, take note): Facebook exacerbated the problem by making such a big stink about it in the first place. Nursing moms -- and I was one -- can be militant about their right to feed their baby wherever and whenever, and there's no better way to get us to whip one out than to tell us we can't.