One administrator of the closed group, which had some 22,500 members, admitted taking payments from men who wanted to lurk on the group’s boards and look at photos.
The scandal came to light after one of the group’s moderators mentioned to her colleagues that she had received some “disturbing” messages from men in the group.
She expected to hear that the people responsible for the creepy messages had been banned from the group but instead she was told that the men paid “good money” to be allowed to remain in the all-female community.
Instead, she learned to her shock, she was being removed from the moderation team instead. Writing on Reddit, she posted a screenshot of her conversation with the group’s lead moderator.
It said: “Listen, those profiles pay good money to be in the group.
“I would appreciate it if you stepped back. I will be removing your [moderator] status. Sorry it didn’t work out.”
Writing on Facebook, Cassie Newcomb said that she had been a member of the women-only breastfeeding group and she was stunned to learn that “perverts were taking the pictures that women posted of themselves or their kids and selling them to other perverts or porn sites”.
Samantha Ray added: “I know a lot of my fellow mommas nurse. If you are in the group ‘breastfeeding and exclusively pumping support group’ please leave if you haven’t. This is disgusting.”
Several other outraged group members commented on the Reddit thread.
One former member said: “The admin who is in these messages was removed, then an ‘announcement’ was made that these ‘accusations’ where being looked into.
“Well instead of looking into it and assuring their members they closed the group and made a new one! This group had 22.5K members!”
Another Reddit user speculated that this kind of activity was probably quite widespread, saying: “It’s like paid voyeurism. I bet it is more common than just that group.”
Quickly, another commenter confirmed her suspicions, saying: “Oh this happened to me in the ‘breastfeeding mama talk group’ when my oldest was a newborn. I had to leave him to go take final and had never pumped before. I posted a picture with the flanges on and asked if it was supposed to hurt/be tight.
“The ladies who replied were really nice and helpful and I managed to pump a bottle) but I got SO many messages from men asking to buy milk from me and if I could send them more pictures.”
She said that in disgust she messaged the group moderator and was told to her dismay that if she didn’t like being sent the creepy messages she should leave the group.
“That was the day I deleted Facebook and never looked back,” she said.
She added that her child was now seven, and so she had no idea whether the group was still running, let alone operated by the sam moderation team.
When another commenter suggested that the men might be better off subscribing on a specialist OnlyFans page, someone pointed out: “I think it’s the lack of consent that turns these creeps on.”