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Birth photographer banned by Facebook: "Life is not against community standards"

Birth photographer banned by Facebook: "Life is not against community standards"


Melissa Willets

posted in Pregnancy

Over the years, I’ve shared a dozen posts about birth photographer Monet Moutrie’s amazing work, featuring awe-filled moments mothers welcome their babies into the world.

From images that depict the raw beauty of the umbilical cord, to photos of women experiencing contractions that make you feel their pain, this Colorado-based birth photographer never fails to stun.

For this past Mother’s Day, Moutrie created an emotional and beautiful video that celebrates birth, a phenomenon only moms can accomplish, for Birth Becomes Her. In the three-and-a-half minute montage, we see mothers working hard to birth their babies, and then reveling in the sheer joy of holding them for the first time.

Months after the video went viral, Moutrie was inexplicably banned by Facebook. As she writes in a post about what she sees as an unfair decision, “Life is not against community standards.”

Here is what Facebook says about their community standards with regards to adult nudity and sexual activity:

“People sometimes share content containing nudity for reasons like awareness campaigns or artistic projects. We restrict the display of nudity and sexual activity because some audiences within our global community may be sensitive to this type of content – particularly because of their cultural background or age. In order to treat people fairly and respond to reports quickly, it is essential that we have policies in place that our global teams can apply uniformly and easily when reviewing content. As a result, our policies can sometimes be more blunt than we would like and restrict content shared for legitimate purposes. We are always working to get better at evaluating this content and enforcing our standards.”

Facebook goes on to explain:

“We remove photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks. We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but our intent is to allow images that are shared for medical or health purposes. We also allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring. We also allow photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures. Restrictions on the display of sexual activity also apply to digitally created content unless the content is posted for educational, humorous, or satirical purposes. Explicit images of sexual intercourse are prohibited. Descriptions of sexual acts that go into vivid detail may also be removed.”

Moutrie doesn’t feel her video violates these standards as defined by Facebook. Taking a closer look at the video, you see that for the most part, moms’ breasts and private areas are covered up, and are not the focus of the shots. It’s quite baffling as to why Facebook would ban this content, especially after it was viewed millions of times already.

Birth photographer banned from Facebook fights back

As Moutrie writes in her post, “I don’t understand this [decision] at all. But I’m saddened and quite honestly scared that the important work [birth photographers are] doing will be stifled and hidden behind false statements like ‘community.’ Because there is nothing more antithetical to community than the restriction and censorship of birth, family and life.”

She goes on to offer this plea: “Facebook, we are far more than usernames and passwords. We are living and breathing human beings, with real bodies, that were ALL born from real women. Have we reached a point in our obsession with apps and usernames that we’ve forgotten that behind our pixelated screens are real bodies that breathe and beat and love and birth and eventually die? Facebook, LIFE should never be against your community standards.”

Moutrie believes her work, and that of other birth photographers offers hope and squashes fear about the daunting process of giving birth, for women around the world.

Birth photographer doesn't understand why she was banned by Facebook

She ends her powerful post by saying, “There are many images and words on Facebook that are full of hate and violence. There are countless depictions of women that make young girls feel inferior, ugly, or lost. Can you please spend more time hunting down these accounts? Can you join with the good work happening here instead of censoring it?”

At time of writing, Moutrie’s account was still banned, and she has not heard back from the social network.

What do you think Facebook should do?

The post Birth photographer banned by Facebook: "Life is not against community standards" appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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