A Facebook photo contest backfired on a Clarksville mall when an excluded image of a breastfeeding mother was removed from the page.
Governor's Square Mall held a contest for the best motherhood pictures. However, when one of the pictures was rejected for breastfeeding, social media outrage got so bad on the mall page it actually was shut down by Facebook.
Some mothers in Clarksville took matters into their own hands and held a “nurse-in” in front of Victoria’s Secret in the mall. The women breast fed their children in a show of support for the mother who’s photo was removed, Angel Frank.
“I just think that in the beginning, the breastfeeding picture should not have been excluded,” said Alex Sumner, who was photographing the event in support. "it's confusing because this same mall can advertise floor to ceiling pictures of Victoria secret models that are dressed in lingerie. They can't accept an innocent breastfeeding picture that doesn't show a lot. It was just a beautiful breastfeeding picture that showed the essence of motherhood which is what the contest was about."
The moderators of the mall don’t see it that way. Spokesman Joe Bell said it’s not breastfeeding in public that they’re trying to censor.
"Maybe in the future we would let any photo appear. Maybe we won't. The point is, it's our Facebook page and we have the right to regulate our contests," said Bell.
Bell said the photo was removed to remain sensitive to all of the mall’s customers, some of which may take offense to the picture. The picture does appear to show a partially exposed breast.
Bell also said the mall welcomes breastfeeding anywhere in the building. The mall has always allowed breastfeeding.
"This is a classic case of taking one situation and twisting it to mean something completely different," He said.
Comments after the initial post was removed were vulgar or even threatening, according to Bell. It was so bad, Facebook took down the whole page. When it was reactivated, the mall deleted many of the posts involved in the photo contest.
Another nurse-in is planned for Mother’s Day in the mall. Bell says the group is welcome to breastfeed in the mall any time.