Breast-Feeding Photo Brouhaha Shows How Impossible It Is To Rate Websites

from the mission-impossible dept

Just after the UK's culture minister, Andy Burnham, announced that he thinks all websites can and should be rated, comes a story that highlights what a ridiculous suggestion it is to say that you can simply classify all websites. Facebook is facing a bit of a backlash after the company started banning some photos of women breast-feeding as being inappropriate. Basically, Facebook has been making its own judgment on which of those photos are "obscene" and which are fine -- and it's pissing off a bunch of moms whose photos have been deleted. And, of course, this is just one simple example. Thinking that there's some sort of single objective measure by which all sites (or content) can be rated is so wrong it's hard to believe that someone thinking such a thing was possible could hold down a serious job, let alone elected office.

Filed Under: andy burnham, breast feeding, indecent content, ratings
Companies: facebook

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  1. icon
    chris (profile), 30 Dec 2008 @ 12:40pm

    breast feeding in the US is weirdly cultural

    breast feeding is a big deal in the US, with womens' groups acting like breast feeding has been criminalized, or somehow frowned upon. maybe i'm just not aware of the vast conspiracy against breastfeeding... but i'm not surprised at all that there was a huge backlash against facebook taking down the pictures.

    here's why i think there are some strange culture or politics surrounding breast feeding: my first child was born in german hospital and they encouraged breast feeding but there was not a lot of pressure. my wife got a fever a week after delivery and couldn't continue nursing and it was no big deal. a few months later, at the american military clinic there was a full scale freak out that the baby wasn't breast fed. for a few minutes i was worried that social workers were going to get involved.

    in the US, my second child was adopted as a newborn, and so we got a pass on the whole breastfeeding thing. when my good friend's wife had a baby a whole team of nurses and "consultants" descended on her to indoctrinate her into breastfeeding complete with someone coming by their house and membership in some sort of league.

    so with all the cultural/political investment in the US i am not surprised at all that facebook took a lashing over taking down the pics.

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