As someone who has been personally affected by Breast Cancer, we are asking for your support and hoping you will lend your voice to our plea to Facebook & Instagram to stop taking down images of women’s mastectomy scars.
Every year during Breast Cancer Awareness month, members of our private Facebook support group take part in our public #becomevisible campaign, drawing on Audre Lord’s words “If we are to translate the silence surrounding breast cancer into language and action against this scourge, then the first step is that women with mastectomies must become visible to each other.”
We post real, anonymised, unfiltered photos of men’s and women’s post-mastectomy bodies to help inform and empower individuals, before and after breast cancer related surgery.
Images of post-mastectomy scars, breast reconstructions and nipple tattoos are in no way sexual, but Facebook and Instagram continue to remove these images on the basis of their explicit material rules, thereby removing the comfort breast cancer patients find from seeing these images and knowing they’re not alone.
This year Facebook and Instagram have again removed several such images, and are now also ‘restricting’ our support group so that it’s excluded from searches around breast cancer and mastectomy support. We are only a small, volunteer organisation, but we have provided support and advice to thousands of women, worldwide, over the past four years, and now Facebook’s actions have made us invisible.
Facebook and Instagram have ignored our appeals to reinstate images and refuse to discuss the issue, or any possible solutions with us.
Please help us magnify our voices to send the message that women AND men with breast cancer scars deserve to be seen.
The (-)(*)astectomy Network Women x
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*Mastectomy Network is an independent resource, for sharing the latest in mastectomy procedures, techniques, and outcomes. Mastectomy Network does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment*