Tweeter cops it for breastfeed photo post

JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN
Last updated 10:58 20/05/2012

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A man upset at a woman breastfeeding in a Taranaki mall foodcourt took a photo of her and posted it to social network Twitter yesterday. The photo identifies the woman and her baby.

Using the Twitter handle @chadirl, he posted the picture while he was at a coffee shop in New Plymouth, saying: "What? I come to the foodcourt to enjoy my food, not watch someone flop their boob out. You don't do that where people are trying to eat. Isn't that what parent rooms are for?"

The Sunday Star-Times has the photograph, but will not publish it.

Inspector Alan Weston said the woman would be within her rights to make a complaint if she was offended, but the matter would have to be investigated to determine if an offence had been committed.

Christchurch's Taylor Shaw privacy lawyer Kathryn Dalziel said the woman should discuss the post with the police or the Department of Internal Affairs.

"The issue is whether or not there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in that situation. If there is, then this can amount to a crime - if someone takes a photograph without the knowledge or consent of the person and the person's breast is exposed or partially exposed. The big question is whether breastfeeding in a public mall creates a reasonable expectation of privacy.

"This could also amount to objectionable material."

Parents Centre chief executive Viv Gurrey called the actions "disgraceful".

"You have to question his motives. Personally, I think he needs to be taken to task over it. We all understand social media but this is a breach of privacy. There is something creepy about the whole process."

A request for an interview got no response from @chadirl, who received a torrent of abuse online.

"A woman breastfeeding like the good mother she is. I see nothing wrong with this, open your mind a bit," one said.

"My guess is that @chadirl has mummy issues," a second said. Another added: "What are you doing photographing a woman breastfeeding and posting it online?"

The picture has since been deleted and the account locked.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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