Breast-feeding moms have long warred with Facebook over their photo restriction policies, and now Joanne Jackson, a 40-year-old breast cancer survivor, is also taking a stand against the social network for banning her post-mastectomy photos from their site. She commissioned the photos–some of which show her mastectomy scar–and posted them on her own Facebook page and that of some cancer organizations; she was promptly notified by Facebook that they’d been removed because of their “offensive” content.
Jackson has been through what most people would call “hell and back” in the past two years, discovering a lump in her breast after losing 70 pounds through UK weight loss program ‘Slimming World.’ Doctors found two types of breast cancer in her left breast; thankfully, she underwent treatment, which included a mastectomy, and her cancer is in remission.
She commissioned the photos to celebrate her survival, telling Daily Mail:
I am not one who is shy but these pictures weren’t as much about me as about other women who had maybe just been diagnosed with breast cancer. It doesn’t have to be a death sentence and there is life after a mastectomy. The images aren’t fluffy, they are real and I am very proud of them.
But soon after she posted them to Facebook, she received a message that they’d been taken down, explaining:
Content you shared on Facebook has been removed because it violated Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
Shares that contain nudity, pornography and graphic sexual content are not permitted on Facebook.
This serves as a warning. Additional violations may result in the termination of your account.
Jackson is now campaigning against Facebook’s ban on her photos, enlisting friends and supporters to re-post the photos in protest of what she considers censorship:
There is nothing pornographic or explicit about these pictures. That was not the idea at all. I took breast cancer and the mastectomy in my stride and decided it wasn’t going to stop me living my life. It wasn’t going to define who I was, and it didn’t make me any less attractive as a woman. My attitude was to just get on with it. I knew I could kick cancer’s ass and I did.
Her story—and photos—are inspirational, not pornographic, if you ask us. You could argue that she and all the breast-feeding moms out there are showing more skin that some would like, but Facebook’s actual policies are muddy, at best. Until last February, their official policy was that breastfeeding photos were ok, but administrators regularly removed them just the same. But after Emma Kwasnica, a breastfeeding educator, staged a protest at their headquarters, they updated their policy to specify that the photos were permissible, so long as the child was actively engaged in breastfeeding (acting as a “human pastie,” as Forbes put it).
So, when TIME’s now-infamous cover featuring a young mom breast-feeding her 3-year-old son, Facebook let it loose on their site, but Jackson isn’t armed with a baby to cover her nipple (just a mastectomy scar). Meanwhile, fan pages exist for all kinds of morally reprehensible beliefs and activities…
Photos: via Daily Mail