Photo Studio's Apology On Facebook Turns Into Public Breastfeeding Debate

A Staten Island, New York photography studio saw its Facebook page erupt into a debate on breastfeeding in public, with 367 posts forcing the company to move the thread to another page.

A Staten Island, New York photography studio saw its Facebook page erupt into a debate on breastfeeding in public.

The Picture People posted an apology on its Facebook page after a well-meaning employee shooed a nursing mom from a public area within the photo shop. This post included the following:

It is absolutely your right to breastfeed in public. The associate that told you otherwise was incorrect, and we will be issuing a statement internally so that everyone, company wide, understands the sensitive nature of this situation. Picture People supports a woman’s right to breastfeed, and if you cannot be accommodated in studio for any reason, we will help you locate a nearby location to insure your comfort and privacy. We believe the associate was actually attempting to be conscious of your privacy by offering you a private place to nurse, but we can certainly understand your frustrations in how you were treated in-studio.

The first responses dealt with specific issues at The Picture People’s various locations. However, subsequent posters opened up a debate on the general topic of breastfeeding in public. By the tenth posting, it became clear that the thread had gotten hijacked, meaning it digressed to the point where the original subject of the photography studio chain was gone.

It’s easy to see how that kind of digression could harm a company’s brand, regardless of all the best intentions. That appears to explain why the thread appears to have moved at some point from The Picture People’s wall to another page on Facebook.

Does reading about online discussions like the one above make you wish that Facebook offered an easier way for page administrators to move threads that veer off topic?