Birth and Breastfeeding Photos Removed, Restored on Facebook and Instagram


Keeping tabs on all of the photos that go up on Facebook and/or Instagram daily is no easy feat. Some 208,300 photos are uploaded to Facebook alone every minute; when you’re trying to make sure that each and every one of those complies with the community standards, mistakes are bound to happen.

Photographer Katie DelaVaughn of PhotoRaya and breastfeeding support site The Leaky Boob both recently found themselves on the receiving end of these mistakes.

In DelaVaughn’s case, the photograph below showing a baby being helped along by a midwife’s hands was removed for being inappropriate. The incident also led to the temporary suspension of DelaVaughn’s Facebook account.

The photo that resulted in a temporary ban

The photo by DelaVaughn that resulted in a temporary ban

Although Facebook’s Community Standards make no mention of birthing photos, DelaVaughn maintains that the photo of baby Charis being born should be acceptable. “There is no nudity. You only see the umbilical cord around the baby’s neck,” she tell us.

Why then, she wonders, was the photo removed and her account suspended?

The Leaky Boob’s Instagram account ran into a similar issue when, after receiving several notifications that they were in violation of the app’s terms, the account was taken offline. In this case, the story reads much like that of breastfeeding advocate Kristy Kemp and her Facebook page Breastfeeding/MamaTalk. Kemp was banned from her account twice before Facebook ultimately apologized for the mistake.


Facebook’s Community Standards are very clear when it comes to breastfeeding photos: they’re allowed. Instagram’s Terms of Use, however, don’t mention breastfeeding at all. In the end, Instagram followed its parent company’s lead, giving The Leaky Boob an apology and explaining that the account was “suspended by mistake.”

Just like in the Kemp case, however, many are wondering why a mistake would happen several times over. Kemp’s account was banned twice, and The Leaky Boob received several warnings before being taken offline.

At this point, it seems both disputes have been settled in favor of the user. But as more stories surface regarding Facebook and Instagram’s treatment of photos that may or may not be deemed inappropriate (all of them seemingly ending in a hasty apology) a review of the photo screening process might be in order.

(via The Daily Dot)

  • Norshan Nusi

    Genkakuzai, you are correct.

    Besides in this world there are countries that allows nudity in TV and some are not.

    So its understandable why they tend to support about this pictures.

    To them, nudity is normal, so this is okay.

    To some of us, its disturbing to see that in open spaces.
    And in some countries, they provide a special place for breastfeeding, for a reason. Which is not to do it in public.

  • bgrady413

    Not always true unfortunately. Some things you think are private may actually not be. I never put my phone number on Facebook, yet it kept popping up in my about me section, you know why? Every time for a while at least every mobile update of Facebook changed security settings, I couldn’t control it, like it had a mind of its own. It would add my number, and one time it synced my contacts with out asking permission, that was an even worse nightmare of sorting through 600+ new contacts in my phone.

  • bgrady413

    I am sure humans are in the process somewhere, but I cannot imagine someone sits and looks over the some three hundred million pictures they say come in a day.

  • Ryan

    Oh geesh you are in for a hell of a surprise. You are very naive. I suggest you actually learn how facebook works.

  • Aaron Tsuru

    I guess technically you see some labia on the birthing photo above. I’ve had photos deleted for less “nudity” over the years. Granted my work is erotic in nature. Still, I’m always baffled at the sensitivity of Facebook, Instagram, and especially Apple to nudity in general.