So, lovely peeps, tell me how did you spend your weekend? I had precise plans for mine. Having received edits for Rescued by her Alien Warriors, I was going to spend Saturday morning editing, and then I had a shopping date with my 17 year old daughter to get her some new clothes for her birthday.
Sounds good, right? Then I logged onto Facebook to check in for five minutes, as you do, and up popped a FB notification.
“Your picture has been reported and is under investigation.”
My first thought was, here we go again. I have had a spate of my Sexy Man Friday pictures reported recently, and as a result ended up in FB jail three times. However, this was different. In the past FB removed the offending picture straightaway, and stuck me in jail, or at the very least removed the pic, and made me go through the album to ensure there was no nudity.
None of this was happening this time, and besides I have been careful with the cropping. I have no wish to end up in FB jail again, thank you very much.
So, imagine my surprise, when I clicked on the link to my pic, and this came up?
Oooookay then. Mess with my sexy men pics if you like and the ones reported did err on the side of not acceptable according to FB definitions, but this is a pic of my breastfeeding my youngest. What’s more the picture is a year old and was set to friends only.
This picture would not have popped up in anyone’s timeline suddenly. No this was someone, one of my friends no less, going through my pictures and deliberately rooting for something to report.
I have long since suspected that some jealous person has it in for me. It seems too coincidental that this reporting of pictures only started happening when my books started hitting the bestseller lists. I’m not a suspicious person by nature. I prefer to think the best of people, unless they prove me wrong, so this is not me being paranoid.
As an erotic author I am well aware that I am a target of sorts. You seem to attract every nutcase out there. From men offering me shots of their cock, unsolicited requests for all sorts of services, publishing related or not, I take it all on the chin. Respond politely if appropriate, ignore and block when needed.
I have a tough skin and it’s all water of a duck’s back, but start messing with my personal pictures, let alone with breastfeeding, and the gloves are fucking off. Yes, I am swearing on purpose here.
My response to all this was to make the picture public, of course, with a message to the friend, to take themselves off my friend’s list. Then things got really interesting. The picture was reported again for nudity this time.
WHAT nudity? Unless I need glasses you cannot see a thing and I am fully clothed. My FB friends and author community were their ever supportive self, and started sharing my picture in support. The result? It got reported again!
At the point of writing this blog post, it had been reported three times and FB has not acted on the report either time. If you don’t know, FB now has a breastfeeding photos policy, which you can read here.
This is what it says:
Does Facebook allow photos of mothers breastfeeding?
Yes. We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and we're glad to know that it's important for mothers to share their experiences with others on Facebook. The vast majority of these photos are compliant with our policies.
Please note that the photos we review are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other Facebook members who complain about them being shared on Facebook.
There you have it in a nutshell, so whoever keeps on reporting my picture is just damn out of luck!
Now like I said, I have my suspicions about this whole thing.
The author community as a whole has been nothing but supportive to me, and I always go out of my way to pay back that support. I host authors, I always help newbies where I can, and I always respond to folks contacting me. It’s the right thing to do, and let’s not forget that Authors are readers too.
I still get a bit fan girly when some of my favourite authors interact with me on social media, and I’m proud to call some of them my friends now. Others I still admire from a distance…
Hey, I’m human, and I was a reader long before I started writing.
So it leaves a sour taste in my mouth to think that another author may be behind all of this. Jealousy is an ugly and useless emotion that makes folks act out of character. I freely admit, I get the green eyed monster too from time to time. Like I said, I’m only human, but I do not let that feeling consume me.
So what if author x does much better than I do? I prefer to channel my energies into writing the next book, and improve my craft. There is room for lots of authors out there with all sorts of different stories. We all like to read different things, and wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we didn’t.
So why then seems there to be an increasing number of bitter authors who go out of their way to make other author’s lives difficult? What are they hoping to achieve? From scathing reviews to one starring other authors’ books, reporting their pictures, and making snidy digs in groups, the list seems endless.
Those authors would be better served to use the time they’re wasting on trying to bring down that successful author in writing the next book. Because, guess what, folks. There is no magic formula, other than writing the very best book you’re capable of writing, and keep on writing.
Books sell books, not endless promo bashing folks on the head with the one book you have written. No whiny posts as to why no one is buying your book. No buying of reviews or twitter followers. That might get you short-lived fame, but readers are not stupid.
They’ll figure out what you’re up to and you bet they will not be buying another one of your books again in a hurry!
So, where does this all leave me with my breastfeeding pic? I tell you where. I’ve made it my profile pic, and thus it will remain for the foreseeable future. This is a picture my husband took of me, because in his eyes, it epitomized me. I have a large family and multitasking is my middle name. As I’m writing this blog post my youngest, Budda, as he is known on the interwebz, has just nursed, and is now asleep in my arms. A lot of my writing is done in this way, and will be for some time yet. My children self-wean when they are ready, which in our family at least, tends to be about the 4/5 year mark. As Budda is only turning three next month, it will be some time yet, before he outgrows the need to nurse.
Will I share more breastfeeding pics? I doubt it. Just because he is getting older and people just don’t seem to get extended nursing. My first concern is for him.
And to those few people who have wondered why I put that picture on FB in the first place, I have this to say.
Why on earth wouldn’t I? I share all sorts of other things, and a lot of my friends are other breastfeeding mothers. I LOVE seeing pictures of mums nursing their children. And the other point is this. Breastfeeding is nothing special or extraordinary in my house. It’s simply what we do evey day, until we don’t need to anymore.
I’ll leave you with this quote from my friend Amanda on FB.
“The boobs that were but never seen but clearly someone found obscene!"
And one last thing. I'm running something of a sweep stake atm. Guess how many times my picture will be reported before the asshats give up. Feel free to guess in the comments. There will be an e-book in the offing for the person who guesses right. I might as well have some fun with this.
Stay naughty, folks.