Proving that it still doesn't quite have a handle on what's offensive and what isn't, Facebook's latest apology has to do with taking down photos of young girls pantomiming breastfeeding. Ok, so the second part of that may strike you as a bit weird (especially if you don't know any girls who did that with any of their dolls), but apparently it's quite all right to post pictures of your children mock breastfeeding on the popular social media platform, as the pro-breastfeeding U.K. website Express Yourself Mums found out. The site had their Facebook page pulled and reinstated after its owners uploaded pictures (above) of their young girls breastfeeding. As The Guardian notes, "Facebook has a history of categorising photos of breastfeeding as 'obscene content' and removing them. But this is the first time a British group – or a picture of children role-playing breastfeeding – has been taken down." Facebook has also had a history peppered with controversy of keeping offensive jokes on for too long and more recently, taking down abortion instructions, which all kind of circles back to free speech and the problems of maintaining that on a money-making website. One analyst puts Facebook's censorship problems succinctly. "The risk is that it becomes associated with such acts as the US government taking down Wikileaks or the Chinese restricting Google ... On the other hand its commercial revenues depend on it not being linked to publicly odious sentiments."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.