Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Winnipegger Instagram account shut down over breastfeed​ing selfie

Bays says this picture she posted of herself breastfeeding prompted a negative comment from another Instagram user. Her account was deactivated hours later. (Instagram)
A Winnipegger who posted on Instagram a photograph of herself breastfeeding is battling the social networking site after it briefly shut down her account.

Heather Bays, a maternity photographer who now lives in Toronto and has almost 2,000 pictures on the popular photo-sharing service, said her account was deactivated on Saturday evening — right before Mother's Day.

"This is discrimination not only against mothers, but against women," she said

Bays said it started when someone posted a negative comment on a selfie of her breastfeeding her 20-month-old daughter.

"It was beautiful, lots of people appreciated it, but one person didn't," she said. "Somebody wrote on there, 'Not cool.'"Hours later, Bays said she received several emails from Instagram saying some of her pictures violated its terms of use.

But she did not get answers right away from Instagram or Facebook, which owns the service, explaining the particular issue with the photographs.

After she reached out to social media to plead her case — and received support from other people — Instagram agreed to reactivate her account but with about seven photographs removed.

She said Instagram told her the reason wasn't for breastfeeding but rather child nudity because the photos showed Bays' young daughter topless.

Instagram maintains it's OK with breastfeeding photos but there are strict policies around nudity and partial nudity.

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