This Childbirth Photo Ban Exposes a Shameful Double Standard on Facebook

April 13th 2016

Laura Donovan

A birth photographer is calling out Facebook's hypocrisy after the social network banned an image of a woman giving birth, but continues to allow other graphic images and forms of nudity on the platform.

Disclaimer: The image in this story is graphic.

Morag Hastings, a birth photographer and doula based in Canada, was temporarily banned after posting the image below on Facebook. Though her Facebook page, Apple Blossom Families, and childbirth image were restored after a 30-day ban, Hastings wrote on Instagram that the initial suspension was very disappointing and hypocritical of Facebook.


Facebook's Community Standards page states that it removes "photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks." However, Hastings claimed on Instagram last week that Facebook did not remove the photo of reality star Kim Kardashian's butt gracing the cover of PAPER Magazine in 2014. In fact, there's an entire Facebook page dedicated to Kim Kardashian's Ass, which has more than 11,000 fans and includes the famous PAPER Magazine butt photo.

"[Confidence and liberation are] what birthing women should feel when they share their birth images and I shouldn't feel scared to post educational material," Hastings wrote on Instagram last week. "Facebook has a double standard when it comes to birth images and it needs to be stopped. I have been put on a 30 day ban and my business page has been threatened to be unpublished for posting an image that fits inside of Fb's community Standards and I can't defend myself as they don't have a place to dispute. 😕 It's 2016 change needs to happen and it needs to happen soon."

Many of Hastings' fans agree that Facebook shouldn't have removed the photo. Some people also expressed the argument that aspects of parenting such as breastfeeding and childbirth should not be sexualized:


There's an ongoing debate about how birth photography should be displayed on Facebook.

Last summer, birth photographer Melissa Jean Wilbraham's Instagram account was deleted after she posted photos of breastfeeding women and women giving birth on her account. Coincidentally, this took place on the first day of World Breastfeeding Week, which Wilbraham noted in a Facebook post complaint about being removed for violating Instagram's rules.

​Instagram reactivated her account and told the Daily Mail Australia in a statement that deleting it was a mistake, but Wilbraham said in an interview with Smart Company that the removal could have really hurt her business because Instagram is such a huge part of her brand.

“Everyone is on Instagram, anyone who has a successful brand is there,” she said. "When I say it’s my whole business, there’s no cent I pay for advertising. It’s a perfect way to showcase what I do; I spent about $6500 on updating my website, and I don’t think people even look at it ... When it was deleted, I thought I was being punished for representing mothers."

[H/T The Stir]