The wedding photo banned by Facebook

Jo-Hanna Gordon breastfeeding her son Andy on her wedding day. Image: Margan Photography

Jo-Hanna Gordon breastfeeding her son Andy on her wedding day. Image: Margan Photography

It’s one of Jo-Hanna Gordon’s favourite moments from her wedding day, feeding her six-and-a-half-month-old son Andy before heading off to church to marry his father.

But not everyone sees the beauty in the image and, after a Facebook user reported the image, it was removed, much to the 25-year-old Canberra bride’s chagrin.

“It’s my favourite photo from my wedding day,” says Jo-Hanna who married Tristan Gordon on the Gold Coast in October. “I was so focussed on giving my little boy one last feed and thinking about how I was about to marry his father, and the photographers managed to capture that special moment.

“I cried when I saw the photo and, though I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of team, I’m really proud of it.”

The first the former primary school teacher heard of the image’s removal was when contacted by the photographers, Margan Photography, who were notified the image had been removed by Facebook.

Facebook’s policy on nudity is clear, it will delete images that breach its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. It is equally clear about its policy on pictures of breastfeeding, which states” “Yes. We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful, and we’re very glad to know that it is important for mothers to share their experiences with others on Facebook,” says the company’s Help Centre.

“The vast majority of these photos are compliant with our policies, and we will not take action on them. Photos that show a fully exposed breast where the child is not actively engaged in nursing do violate Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. These policies are based on the same standards which apply to television and print media.  It is important to note that photos which we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain about them being shared on Facebook.”

But, says, Jo-Hanna, as far as she is concerned, it’s a “double standard.”

“I think it’s one thing to say you support breastfeeding, but you have to put your words into action. If somebody reports a breastfeeding photo, I think it should be about more than a strict policy.

They [Facebook], maybe need to contact the person who reported it and offer them options so they can block or hide the images rather than just deleting them.

“It’s a double standard, especially when there are plenty of pictures of topless women or people in tiny bikinis with some very offensive comments attached.”

At the time of writing, Easy Weddings was unable to get in touch with Facebook for comment.

UPDATE (11:57pm 13/11/12): Facebook has responded to this story saying:

“Facebook is glad that mothers and their families – including many who work at Facebook – use Facebook to share their parenting experiences, including breastfeeding their children. By uploading photos, joining groups, and engaging with different organizations, these families are able to share and connect on a very important topic, and we are thrilled they are using Facebook to do so.”

They added: “Facebook receives hundreds of thousands of reports every week, and as you might expect, occasionally we make a mistake and remove a piece of content we shouldn’t have. When this happens, we work quickly to address it by apologizing to the people affected and making any necessary changes to our processes to ensure the same type of mistakes do not continue to be made.  We encourage people to re-upload the photos they believe were removed in error.”

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Comments 28 comments

28 responses to “The wedding photo banned by Facebook”

  1. angemwes says:

    WOW!! If it were one of my friends on my list, i would be taking them off my facebook if they were that offended!! Come on! The woman is breastfeeding her son on her wedding day!! I would be proud to have pictures feeding my babies! I wish I had pics to see and share! What i dont get is that we can show womens breasts from other cultures who dont wear clothing (as such) to cover their breasts but we can not show a picture of a woman breastfeeding in our own culture?? I am confused and saddened for this woman, such a beauitful picture!! i would be proud :)

  2. Sarah Clark says:

    i have seen many vulgar pictures of women on facebook, wearing g-strings and bending over right in front of the camera with lewd comments and captions on them. there is full pages of them and it makes me wonder, if a 99% naked woman or mans picture can be kept up on fb and spread around just fine. then why in the heck does a woman dressed in a bridal outfit actively breastfeeding her son get hers deleted? if your company supports breast feeding and say its only a violation when the breast is exposed and the child is not actively feeding, then why take down a picture where the woman is completely covered, the child is completely dressed but is actively feeding from its mother. your backwards facebook, and your liars about your policy violations and the things you supposedly support. im disappointed yet again in you facebook.

  3. Princesskatie1988 says:

    It’s a beautiful picture an a precious moment for a mother to cherish on a special day! As for th haters, if u don’t like it how bout don’t look at it, they obviously have no heart an have nothing better to do with there bitter lives! It’s an amazing picture!!

  4. ‘How dare they do that!!!!!! Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world. I breastfed my daughter for 2yrs. I think it is disgusting that other women can parade around on Facebook with less on and their pictures don’t get deleted! What is this world coming to if people are offended by breastfeeding.

  5. Mum2zack says:

    Beautiful photo :) I agree there is so many naked selfies pages with full on naked females, that don’t get deleted but this does?? disgraceful facebook!

  6. Elle.V.B says:

    Absolutely ridiculous! A mother has a right to be proud of precious moments between them and their baby, especially on their wedding day. If people have a problem with it, don’t look, or delete the person if babies eating offends them. Grow up! There are plenty of underage harlotte’s wearing next to nothing everywhere all over facebook and they’re allowed to stay up. I think you should be more worried about that concidering it’s boarding on child pornography. As for this photo, no, it’s not my ‘thing’ but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful and she has every right to use it where ever she likes!

  7. Amy says:

    Gorgeous photo. And congratulations to you, both on the wedding and for standing up for yourself and making this statement publicly. It is a sad indictment on our society that anyone could have a problem with a photo like this. Some people are ridiculously ignorant.

  8. Erika says:

    This is a beautiful picture! all you can see is some breast – no nipple or anything.  It’s a moment which catches the love between mother and child what is so wrong about that?  I have seen ALOT worse than that plastered all over facebook!

  9. Darsow says:

    SHAME Facebook! No doubt it was removed without even checking the actual content. What a beautiful picture of mother & baby. There was no reason for it to be removed.
    Considering all the disgusting selfie pages on FB that stay visible – it kind of makes me wonder who in the mans world at Facebook HQ is benefitting & enjoying it for their own disgusting satisfaction & pleasure?!   

  10. Kylieado says:

    That is ridiculous we should be encouraging to breast feed!! Considering all the disturbing posts of women and men practically naked only yesterday I seen a guys penis total crap fb!! Absolutely stunning mother son photo

  11. Lauren Williams says:

    i think this is a very beautiful photo!! & find it very insulting when (like it was just mentioned) there’s plenty of photo’s on facebook of topless women. If people dont feel comfortable looking at this photo THEN DONT!!! Seriously facebook get ya shit together!!

  12. LadyJ says:

    Oh god, here It goes, I’m about to disagree. 

    I think it is a lovely photo. 
    I have nothing against breastfeeding. 
    I have nothing against marriage or photography or nudity on any level. 
    I think it is inherently wrong Facebook removed this photo. 
    I think who ever complained about it needs to get a life and not whinge so much.
    I am not religious. 
    I am not against any religion. 
    But the part I have an issue with is (it even bugs me that I’m thinking this) that she is wearing a white bridal dress and veil. Supposedly signifying how innocent and virginal she is to her soon to be husband and Lord. So when I see her breast feeding a child it seems like a massive contradiction.
    THAT is the only issue I see here with this photo. But I certainly don’t see any reason for someone to complain about it.  

    • Snuffles says:

      Not everyone thinks of the white dress in that way. Some of us just like the tradition 😉 I won’t go on the full attack though, since you said you were cringing at yourself for even thinking it lol

  13. Annie Booker says:

    Absolutely ridiculous. There is nothing offensive about this beautiful photo at all.

  14. Joandperty says:

    Jo-Hanna you look devine… Both in your wedding dress and feeding your child….you should be so proud of yourself for both achievements ….x

  15. Pam says:

    Well the baby is feeding and the whole breast is not exposed, so there should be no issue with this photo

  16. Lauren says:

    Are you people retarded??? I agree breast feeding is a natural and beautiful thing. I also believe it probably quit personal between mother and child. And that the world today is not a safe place and people in it are sick and mentally deranged!!! Who knows what sick person could have some kind of fetish getting off on photos like this. Why do you people think FB is trying to crack down on these kinda things… Stop being so self righteous and think about the big picture. Once these photos are on the Internet ther on it for ever.

    • Mw1961 says:

      That’s right Lauren, there are some sickos out there so make sure you don’t expose yourself to them in any way – don’t walk up any stairs – there may be some one behind you watching you; don’t go to the supermarket and bend to get something from the bottom shelf – someone might look at your behind; don’t wear sandals – someone might have a foot fetish and get off on seeing your toes. I. Fact – don’t leave your house, communicate with anyone that you don’t know and trust – become a totally reclusive hermit and I garuntee the world will be better off for it.

    • Ltoevnetmeen says:

      “Quite personal”… Like the first kiss between a couple who have just been married? The photos taken of the bride and groom getting dressed? The tender moments captured before, during, and after a wedding? That kind of personal? People don’t share what they feel is too personal to share. It’s down to perspective.

  17. Bronwyn_connor says:

    It is a beautiful photo. So sweet and personal. Facebook need to stop dabbling in things that don’t concern them.

  18. Bensco says:

    This is a beautiful photo n we should be praising this mother for giving her child the best start in life! Amazing photo honey! God bless you and your family!

  19. fiona king says:

    Oh thats is ridiculous… banning such a beautiful shot and it’s not AT ALL naked!

  20. Leanne Peard says:

    Truly, Facebook needs to look at the page called Naked Selfies… Maybe they should not discriminate against a mother feeding a child and these young women plastering their naked images all of the site… Really Facebook I promote you to business owners, get this right…

  21. Rebecca says:

    This is such a beautiful photo.  It would make a great painting!  I hate that breasts have become so sexualised that it is now classed as ‘offensive’ to use our breasts in the way it is intended – to feed our babies!  Society disgusts me sometimes.

  22. SLor says:

    Shows you what our world is coming too. Big boobs and butts all over FB and everyone gives it a hurrah but a beautiful breast feeding mother and her infant son and someone becomes offended. What are we teaching our children?! I won’t even let my kids have a FB page and if it wasn’t for me living far from my family, I prob won’t even have a FB page myself. I find some of the contents on there defaming and offensive…some pages through friends of friends shows up on my feed with naked women and men! How in the world is that OK on FB and this isn’t! FB can apologize all they want but they need to clean their house first!

  23. x April x says:

    Maybe they should spend more time focusing on the numerous scantly clad women on facebook attracting negative attention rather than picking on a mother and child in a beautiful photograph! It disgusts me that facebook removed this, I have seen fully nude images displayed on facebook but they aren’t removed because the woman is posed in a way that a fall of hair covers her nipples and is shot from an angle that hides the essentials! Why is that allowed and not this? STUPID! our breastfeeding rates are disgraceful in this country and this is a celebratory moment that deserved its capture! I’m a 22 year old breastfeeding mother and i see photographs of friends more exposed than this in nightclubs!!!, the removal of this image is Ridiculous! i say it is copied and pasted as everyones profile picture in protest!!! =D X

  24. Mel says:

    Beautiful photo! If we had a baby when my soon to be husband and I get married, I’d be honoured to have and show of this photo! Cherish it!!

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