It has recently come to light that Facebook and Instagram have been censoring and deleting images of fertile signs that help women chart their cycles and practice Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FABM) for family planning or health management. In particular, Facebook and Instagram have been deleting photos of cervical fluid, even when shared in private Facebook groups that are designed primarily for the purpose of learning about natural family planning (NFP) and cervical fluid.
This is not the first time we’ve heard about social media platforms censoring content that should not be censored, but it hits close to home this time, as it is affecting the ability of women to learn about their bodies and share knowledge to help other women via social media.
Understanding what cervical fluid is and how it changes is key to learning most Fertility Awareness-Based Methods. As we’ve explained in the past, cervical fluid is “a critical component for a pregnancy to happen”—an important indicator of when a woman is fertile within her monthly cycle. By becoming familiar with one’s cervical fluid and the changes it undergoes within one’s cycle, a woman can identify the most (and least) fertile times and thereby use it as a tool to help her conceive or avoid pregnancy.
Because understanding cervical fluid is so essential to a woman’s ability to know her body and chart her cycle, the recent actions by Facebook and Instagram to ban pictures of this fluid has caused an understandable outcry from women trying to learn and help others learn about their bodies’ natural functions. This outcry has led to a petition to Facebook and Instagram to allow uncensored images of cervical fluid, which has been signed by almost 2,000 people so far.
The petition explains,
Facebook is currently deleting cervical fluid images under the guise that they are considered ‘Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity’—none of which apply to cervical fluid.
It’s time to ask the hard questions. Why are Facebook and Instagram against the dissemination of images and captions that allow women to grow a deeper understanding of their reproductive physiology?
It’s time for a positive change. Come on Facebook and Instagram—show us that you care about women and our RIGHT to share and view images related to our menstrual cycles and our reproductive health.”
If you, too, would like to see Facebook and Instagram stop censoring women’s knowledge by allowing uncensored images of cervical fluid, please consider signing the petition.