I’m in Facebook jail for stating a scientific fact

Megaphone inside metal cage 3D

Far be it from me to bewail the power of social media and tech.

It is social media and tech — first the platform Blogger, then my own website, as well Facebook and Twitter — that has brought my concerns about the dangers of homebirth, natural childbirth, breastfeeding and anti-vax to such a wide audience. I have become so well known that those who feel threatened have gathered 6000 signatures on a Change.org petition to have me censored from Facebook.

The petition claims:

Facebook has recently started removing the pages and groups of people they claim to be spreading “fake news” or “false science,” yet somehow, the page run by Amy Tuteur (which she titled “The Skeptical OB”) stays up. Amy regularly spreads false information (proven time and time again by science). She has been quoted as saying “rape is natural” and a “successful evolutionary strategy.”

Birth and breastfeeding professionals — who are too cowardly to face me in any debate and too unsure of themselves to rebut my claims in any setting — are hoping to prevent me from offering comfort and support to the many women they harm in their pursuit of profit. If they think that will that will stop me, they don’t know me very well.

Ironically, natural childbirth advocates and lactivists are proving my point: they have become blind to the real meaning of the word “natural.”

But the petition has nothing to do with why I am in Facebook jail. I have been temporarily banned for pointing out that just while unmedicated vaginal birth and breastfeeding are natural, so is rape.

Entire books have been devoted to this issue, including A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion.

As I explained in a recent post:

If we define rape as forced copulation, it isn’t merely natural among humans, it is natural throughout the animal kingdom…

In species where females pick or accede to males based on fitness, rape represents an important evolutionary strategy for less fit males. Instead of leaving the choice of mate to the female, the male who forces copulation on a female who wouldn’t otherwise choose him is given a chance to spread his genes that he wouldn’t otherwise get. If he is a successful rapist, he will father many offspring. Rape offers this male an extra opportunity to be an evolutionary winner. So rape isn’t merely natural in such settings, it is a winning strategy.

Predictably, some people were upset, reasoning — wrongly — that if rape is natural, it must follow that rape is excusable. Ironically, they were demonstrating the point I had set out to prove: that natural childbirth advocates and lactivists have become blind to the real meaning of the word “natural.”

Natural is NOT equivalent to “good.” Just because something is natural does NOT make it best nor something we can or should wish to emulate. Rape is always wrong. Even if rape occurred in the past in nature, and occurs to this day in the animal kingdom, it is still always wrong and SHOULD be punished harshly and prevented by the best means we have at our disposal. And just because unmedicated vaginal birth and breastfeeding occur naturally does not make them best or even good.

So how did I end up in Facebook jail? The same people who are organizing and supporting the petition to censor me, reported my posts for using the word rape. Facebook did not elaborate on why I was temporarily banned for using the word “rape,” but under its Community Standards I found:

We remove content that displays, advocates for, or coordinates sexual acts with non-consenting parties …

Of course I did none of those things, so why was I banned anyway?

Sadly, the same social media and tech that have empowered me have inadvertently also empowered the mob. How? By automating decisions about speech.

Facebook has over 2.2 billion users and has been struggling to monitor and address outrages that occur on or are promoted by its platform. There probably aren’t enough people in the world to put eyes on all the content posted to Facebook each day so Facebook relies on complaints from individuals, subjecting the purportedly offensive content to tech that autonomatically screens it, probably using key words. The word rape is almost certainly a key word and if someone uses it in a way that makes someone else complain, the user is banned.

There is an appeals process, and I have engaged it, but it’s the weekend and the ban will be over before Facebook ever addresses it.

I did not violate Facebook’s Community Standards because I was not promoting rape; I was discussing a scientific theory about rape. Once someone complains about the use of the word rape, the automated technology wrongly concludes that rape is being promoted and bans accordingly.

Facebook made a mistake that they never intended to make. But such mistakes are inevitable when you automatically act on complaints without determining whether or not those who are complaining have a legitimate reason to do so.

As for the petition, I am considering my options in consultation with my lawyers since it is defamatory. Facebook certainly hasn’t acted upon it and I suspect they never will.

No petition will ever keep me from speaking out in support of women bullied by natural childbirth advocates and lactivists and against the harmful effects of pernicious ideologies that subvert science. The fact that 6000 birth and breastfeeding advocates are so afraid of me that they want to censor me only confirms my effectiveness.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Amy – you should post an update on this post for those who don’t go to facebook; I see it mentioned below that you have been released…

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    The Change.org petition that sought to censor me has been removed!

  • David Rice

    Unfortunately, rape is indeed “natural,” and common in much of the biosphere. Human rapists *STILL* must be prosecuted, put in prison, and then sent to Hell— “natural” does not equal “right.”

  • Sue

    “Natural is NOT equivalent to “good.” Just because something is natural does NOT make it best nor something we can or should wish to emulate.”

    How did all those people manage to miss the point completely?

  • Amazed

    To the Devon Brooke bitch who has been busy making the tours thumping herself in the boobs because Dr Amy was jailed and promising to meet her after she was released: she now is and she received a damned apology from Facebook, yet I haven’t seen Your Bitchy Ignorance there to comment on it yet.

    Bitch, where are you? Bitch?

    • Devon Brooke

      Actually, I’m in the hospital. I’m not a breast feeder. Fuck off

      • Amazed

        Who cares if you’re a breastfeeder? Your personal circumstances aren’t this interesting to the rest of us. They’re your own business.

        We care that you’re a lying, obnoxious lactivist.

        YOU fuck off. Start another pitiful, whiny petition and thump yourself in your… formula bottles? While the petition is still active, that’s it.

        • rational thinker

          She probably has not done anything for her self esteem since the lunch table at high school so she thought she would join the lactivists cause they arent much different. It sounds like the lunch table was only 2 years ago with the level of immaturity and lack of intellect displayed here.

          • Amazed

            Compared to her namesake, she looks remarkably sane. It’s true that the bar is so low but still.

  • fiftyfifty1

    Come for the fight, stay for the science.

  • Russell Jones

    Oy. This is a rather glaring example of the idiotic results generated by vacuous, unthinking devotion to “zero tolerance” policies. Such devotion is all too often so slavish that it results in application of a policy to a circumstance in which the policy isn’t actually implicated. Like here.

    Does being in Facebook jail require that one learn to sing “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen”?

  • MaineJen

    What is false, exactly? The fact that rape is natural and occurs all over the animal kingdom? The fact that there is no appreciable difference in the health of children who have been breast vs bottle fed, in the developed world where clean water is available? The fact that just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s good?

    Do you mean “false,” or do you just mean “I don’t like it?”

  • Esparkee

    I’m hoping @ZDoggMD will interview you on his podcast. You’re Health 3.0.

    • mayonnaisejane

      That would be amazing.

    • mdstudentwithkids

      I hope so too!

  • Madtowngirl

    Meanwhile, I reported multiple comments on Chloe Dykstra’s page when she came out about being sexually assaulted – comments saying she deserved it, she should kill herself, she was just trying to ruin someone’s life – and those “didn’t go against community standards.”

    Okay.

    This whole situation has demonstrated the fact that so many people have bought into the marketing idea that natural means good. Natural just means it occurs in nature. That is it.

    • demodocus

      Pretty sure it’s natural for us to make all the tools we like. Just because I trade for that computer game doesn’t mean it’s any different than trading for that pretty shell for a paleolithic necklace.

  • rational thinker

    You are. Do you have proof that what she says is false? No I think not. Bye.

  • Devon Brooke

    Zuckerberg didn’t agree with you so that’s how you went to jail. That’s not anyone’s fault but your own. Stop blaming others. Stop comparing breastfeeding to rape. All forms of infant feeding are acceptable. Stop attacking nursing. Breast IS best, but if you can’t breast feed, however you feed your baby is perfect.

    • GeorgiaPeach23

      Did you read anything she’s written? I don’t recognize your username as a regular commenter around here. I suggest you read the things you’re upset about. I’m a nursing mom and a big fan of Dr Amy. Sometimes she’s a bit repetitive (if you read everything she writes) but I’ve never seen her be both wrong and insistent.

      Besides being a nursing mom, I’m also a scientist. I recognize that much of the opprobrium directed towards Dr Amy is rooted in poor science literacy. She’s standing up for science as a way of knowing and learning, and rooting out logical fallacies is crucial to that endeavor.

      You are currently engaging the straw man fallacy in response to Amy’s attempt to explicate the naturalistic fallacy. This is ironic.

    • Amazed

      Thank you for coming over, Devon Brooke. I’ve been hoping that one of you lactivist bitches from Facebook will come here to demonstrate just how superior Dr Amy is. You can comment here (as opposed to many people who can’t comment in your lacta haunts). Dr Amy hasn’t stopped you. And you’re insolent enough to come here and write your shit after trying to remove her from Facebook. You have no shame.

      Go squirt some boob juice in your grown kids’ mouths. That’s about the sum of all you can do in regards to mothering. Because you can’t teach them to respect science (if you could, you wouldn’t be a lactivist), you certainly can’t teach them empathy or intergrity and if your hysterics over breastfeeding are indicative of something, it’s that you know you can’t create any other relationship with your kids than that of a boob pushed into their mouths.

      Thanks for coming over. You know how the Facebook thing went down but you still dared come here and lie when your filthy pack and your own filthy self twisted everything and finally went crying and lying to ban the truth Dr Amy speaks. Thanks for coming over to demonstrate your shittiness.

      Lying lacta bitch. With persecution complex.

      • Devon Brooke

        No, thank you. You think you know something about me? I formula fed just like the rest of you. Kiss off. I don’t lie about anything, I normally don’t even comment on here. By the way, I got banned from Fed is best by simply saying “that’s not how it works” there’s shittiness on both sides but I didn’t do anything.

        • Amazed

          No, I don’t know anything about you and I don’t care. I don’t go over pages I hate to spread unscientific lies. Must be because I am inherently smarter than your lot because was EBF. My mother did it easily, happily and without having to cry into the bottles of formula she prepared, as you undoubtedly did and neither did she have to run after the big dogs of the pack, growling just like them in order to have them accept her as just as cool as you seem to be doing.

          Seeing your comments on Dr Amy’s Facebook page, I don’t believe for a moment you didn’t do anything on the Fed Is Best page. I, however, don’t know if YOU believe you did nothing. Your ilk tends to have an interesting view of acceptable and nothing. But whatever. I don’t care what you do. I’m simply glad you came over here to demonstrate your shittiness. Again: your kids, your boobs, no concern of mine. You don’t need to have breastfed to be a lactivist of the worst kind.

          All of this doesn’t address the question of your lack of shame. After barking all over Facebook to have Dr Amy removed, you have the gall to come here and make use of her blog?

          As I said, lacta bitch in all her glory.

        • KQ Not Signed In

          I formula fed just like the rest of you

          Wow, you really don’t have any reading comprehension – because plenty of people including Dr. Amy breastfed or are actively breastfeeding here. Nobody is bashing breastfeeding.

          • MaineJen

            Yeah, I actually breastfed both of my kids. So I don’t know what she’s on about.

        • Cristina

          You got banned from Fed is Best by simply saying “that’s not how it works”. What is “it”? Feeding your kid?

    • rational thinker

      Dont try to make it sound like the facebook founder himself did this, that just makes you look immature and stupid. I doubt that Mark Zuckerburg even personally knows any of this happened. It had nothing to do with him. One of your lactivist buddies made a false claim in an automated system, thats all.

      • Devon Brooke

        You most certainly aren’t a rational thinker because if you were you know I mean that Zuckerberg‘s crew did it. It’s called getting Zucked. You need to stop grasping at straws and grow up yourself.

        • rational thinker

          “Zuckerberg’s crew” that means administrative employees and a live person did not ban her an automated system did. When a real person looked at the claim Dr. Amy got unbanned and an immediate apology. Go somewhere else to brag about your boobs you twenty something immature moron. Oh and you aren’t too quick are you? I mean It took you how many days for a comeback?

        • rational thinker

          By the way he is not in a gang so he does not have a “crew” please do not insult the English language any further.

    • MaineJen

      Saying “rape is natural” is not the same as saying “rape is good.” Do you understand that?

    • mythsayer

      And do you not realize that by saying “breast is best, BUT…”, you are part of the problem.

      How about “skinny is best, BUT if you’re overweight, you still have worth”. Do you see how that is fucked up?

      • Devon Brooke

        Even has a fat person and I’ll say skinny is best you don’t have as many health problems next logical argument ? Skinny is best but if you’re fat you still have worth. It’s the same thing

        • Cristina

          Is skinny still best if you are starving yourself?

        • MaineJen

          Is skinny best if you’re ill?

    • rosewater1

      Formula feeding is acceptable? Why, how…nice of you to say this. What effort it must have taken.

  • Spamamander ctrl-alt-right-del

    Specifically what is false. Name it. Let’s see- studies show that breastfeeding is not automatically superior to formula in countries with clean water. So no lie there. Statistics show homebirth is much riskier than in-hospital birth, so no lie there. Vaccinations do much, much more good than harm, so no lie there. Oh, and rape IS natural in the animal kingdom, and some males have used it as a successful reproductive strategy. Doesn’t mean humans should do it, it’s evil and wrong. But natural doesn’t always mean good, which was the point.

    • Me.Myself.I

      Breastfeeding will always be superior. And that’s not the only few things this whack job has said about how breastfeeding. She says a lot of bullshit.

      • Who?

        So you were bottlefed, amiright?

        I’m always intrigued by the filthy language and violent thoughts in the minds and hearts of those who proclaim purity-only for baby feeding.

        Doesn’t matter what you feed them, if you expose them to your kind of poison, they’ll be on the back foot from day one.

      • GeorgiaPeach23

        You have never commented on this blog before, I would have seen you. Please cite where you think she’s wrong and a peer-reviewed source for why she’s wrong.

        I’m a scientist and a nursing mom. I’m not here to countenance thin statements of ire. At least provide some substance.

        • Amazed

          They can’t. They can only lie and rage because they can’t bear that working breasts don’t make them superior.

      • Your tone, use of language, and lack of scientific citation are the best evidence available to show how bankrupt your position really is. The impression you make is the exact opposite of the one you want to make. Indeed, you sound completely cretinous. That cannot be what you intended. Wise up.

      • rational thinker

        Tell me something. Do you believe a growing baby should have vitamin D?

      • rational thinker

        This “whack job” went to Harvard. Did you?

  • Me.Myself.I

    Well maybe don’t be a twat and spread false I formation then they wouldn’t need to put you in fb jail. Dumb cunt.

    • Spamamander ctrl-alt-right-del

      Wow you just used all the kind of language to get banned from here. Good show!

      • Me.Myself.I

        I don’t care at all about being banned from here.

        • Who?

          Mind the door on your way out.

          Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? Or touch her with those typing fingers?

        • Amazed

          Bye bitch.

        • MaineJen

          You won’t be banned. Your comments will be here for posterity, so we can all see your thoroughly reasoned arguments.

      • I think it’s funny that this troll is using crude anatomical terms to protest a point about crude natural behavior. Maybe it’s intentional parallelism, but I’m inclined to think not.

    • rosewater1

      Spell check is your friend, sweet cheeks. And if what she said is false…prove it. Citations, please. We’ll wait.

    • Amazed

      Oh brave keyboard warrior, why won’t you show your Facebook face? Can it be that you’re too chicken?

      Of course, Dr Amy is right and you wouldn’t know science if it bites you in the boob. Lying liar who lies, that’s what you are.

      • Russell Jones

        In Me.Myself.I’s defense, s/he is extraordinarily stupid.

    • Heidi

      But twats are perfect and never fail us, if we believe in them! Isn’t “dumb cunt” an oxymoron in your world?

  • Who?

    I noticed your absence.

    You’re well equipped to deal with this, it’s just a pity you have to.

    So much for all those free speech advocates, eyeroll.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      They’re such hypocrites. Hannah Dahlen who signed and promoted the petition on her Facebook page just shared an article about birth RAPE on the same page.

      • Ozlsn

        Ooh goody, reporting time!

        • NoLongerCrunching

          Please don’t report her page. The hypocrisy needs to be out there for all to see.

  • rational thinker

    Sue the bastards Dr Amy. This if defamation and they need to learn a lesson that lying has consequences.