01/12/2012 03:20 EST | Updated 03/13/2012 05:12 EDT

B.C. woman furious at Facebook after site removes breastfeeding photos

VANCOUVER - A Facebook representative has apologized to a Vancouver woman who was furious at Facebook for removing breastfeeding photos she had posted on the social networking site.

Emma Kwasnica, 33, said since she joined Facebook in 2008, nearly 30 of her breastfeeding photos have been taken down and her account has been temporarily frozen in four separate incidents.

The latest incident occurred this past Saturday when she tried to log on, she said.

Kwasnica said Facebook removed her photos because of what it says are a violation of its policies on obscenity, nudity and sexually explicit content.

“This is a child’s right to eat, a mother’s right to nurse her child,” Kwasnica said in a telephone interview from her Vancouver home.

“There’s nothing sexually explicit in breastfeeding photos, nothing at all.”

Kawsnica later said that a Facebook representative apologized to her and said in an email that removing the photos was a mistake. The representative also encouraged Kwasnica to re-upload the photos that were removed from her account.

A spokeswoman for Highroad Communications, which represents the social networking site in Canada, said the company’s global policy allowed breastfeeding photos to be posted on the site.

“We agree that breastfeeding is natural and we are very glad to know that it is important for mothers, including the many mothers who work at Facebook, to share their experience with others on the site,” the policy states.

“However, photos which contain a fully exposed breast, do violate our terms and may be removed if they are reported to us.”

Kwasnica said her experience left her feeling confused about Facebook’s rules, pointing to a recent case in which Facebook issued a public apology to another woman in North Carolina who was in the same situation.

Television station WCNC of Charlotte, N.C., reported on its website last month that Facebook apologized to Heather Stultz after it removed a breastfeeding photo she posted on her breastfeeding support page called “Respect the Breast.”

As in Kwasnica’s case, WCNC reported that Stultz’s photo was initially removed because it violated Facebook’s rules on pornographic content.

Eventually, Facebook reversed its decision on the photo in question and apologized, saying the photo was removed “in error.”

A Facebook page was set up earlier this week in support of Kwasnica that had attracted about 3,500 supporters.