Should graphic birth pictures be shared on Facebook?

One photographer thinks so - after her latest - pretty full-on - image of childbirth was removed

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How do you feel about birth pictures? In particular, birth pictures being shared on social media?

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One birth photographer has accused Facebook of censorship after she shared a picture of a baby’s head crowning on her page.

Morag Hastings, owner of Apple Blossom Families in Vancouver, Canada, is a doula and birth photographer, and as such, regularly shares photos of her clients in the throes of birth.

On five previous occasions, Facebook has ordered her to remove the images because they violated their nudity policies.

The latest photo to fall foul of their T&Cs (which state no genital or fully exposed buttocks) is of a mum giving birth standing up. Her baby’s head is on view and is still covered in vernix. Its mum is reaching down to touch it, and the baby has its eyes slightly open. 

We have reproduced the undeniably amazing pic below – but please be aware it IS graphic and there is a little blood (although in all honesty, it takes you a moment to even realise what is going on and there are absolutely no genitals on display).

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Photographer says Facebook censors birth photos

The picture was on Morag’s Apple Blossom Families page for two weeks before Facebook messaged her to say it contravened their rules and would have to be taken down.

According to Morag’s blog, they informed her: “We remove photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks.”  

Back in November, Facebook ‘censored’ Morag’s image of a baby being born in its amniotic sac, which resulted in her being banned from posting on the site for 7 days and having to prove her identity to them before she could access her account again.

Outraged Morag has now started a hashtag campaign to stop Facebook “censoring birth” – because she insists that she posts her pics for educational purposes, but also because she wants her clients to see (and to share) “liberated” and “confident” pictures of birth.

And interestingly, those were the very words which were also used to describe Kim Kardashian when those naked photographs of her broke the internet last year.

Re-posting Kim’s famous butt-out pic, and citing the liberated and confident hashtags which accompanied them, Morag argues:

“These are words that describe Kim Kardashian West when she posts images of her beautiful body on Facebook. Her sexy naked body images have close to a half a MILLION likes.

“Trust me with that much traffic these images are getting reported but somehow they are still up. Even though [her ‘break the internet’ pic goes] directly against Facebook’s nudity rules: “We remove photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks.”

Referencing her own removed pic, Morag said she wished her “clients and other women could feel #Liberated and have #Confidence with their unsexual birth images”.

So what do you think? Should we be careful sharing such powerful (and perhaps for some, quite shocking) images on Facebook simply because it is SOCIAL media and so the photos could end up anywhere?

Perhaps you think there is no place for them online at all?

Or is Morag Hastings right – that it’s not on for Facebook to censor birth photos (and breastfeeding photos, too, come to that) while near-naked celebrities can flaunt their bits willy-nilly?

Let us know.

Pictures: Facebook/Morag Hastings MoragHastings/Appleblossomfamilies 

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