Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Facebook just deleted a post by the Norwegian Prime Minister because of this photo

napalm.jpg

You've almost certainly seen the photograph known commonly as 'Napal Girl'.

Taken by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut at the height of the Vietnamese war, it depicts nine-year-old Phan Thị Kim Phúc fleeing a US military napalm strike. She is naked, near skeletal in stature, and crying. It is an immensely powerful image, capturing the brutality of war and its savage effects on innocent civilians.

It was recently included in an article on iconic war imagery by Norwegian news paper Aftenposten - however, despite its cultural impact, when the article and image were posted onto the newspaper's Facebook page, they were contacted by the social network with a request to either censor or remove the image. Before Aftenposten responded, Facebook deleted the post, going so far as to prevent its author Tom Egeland from being able to post from his account.

In the days following Facebook's decision to delete the post, a number of prominent Norwegian figures, including the Prime Minister Erna Solberg, posted the article only to have it deleted by Facebook. Solberg, who had stated "I say no to this form of censorship", has subsequently called on Facebook to "review its editing policy". 

Erna Solberg

Facebook doesn't refute the importance of the 'Napalm girl' photo, but has outlined in a statement the difficult position it believes it is in regarding images of nudity.

"While we recognise that this photo is iconic, it's difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph of a nude child in one instance and not others," Facebook said in a statement.

"We try to find the right balance between enabling people to express themselves while maintaining a safe and respectful experience for our global community. Our solutions won't always be perfect, but we will continue to try to improve our policies and the ways in which we apply them."

Editor of Espen Egil Hansen newspaper Aftenposten has written an open letter in response to Facebook's actions, addressing Mark Zuckerberg directly.

"Listen, Mark," writes Hansen, "this is serious. First you create rules that don’t distinguish between child pornography and famous war photographs. Then you practice these rules without allowing space for good judgement. Finally you even censor criticism against and a discussion about the decision – and you punish the person who dares to voice criticism."

How much control over posts do you think Facebook should have? Should it be able to make exceptions in certain contexts, or should it remain absolute on subjects such as images of naked children. Let us know your thoughts below.

(Images: "Napalm Girl" by Nick Ut / The Associated Press, Erna Solberg from Rex)

Related

newyork.jpg

Newly-released handwritten notes from Bush aide show 9/11 unfolding

1.jpg

Mark Zuckerberg is pissed off with Space X for its rocket explosion

whatsapp.jpg

How to stop WhatsApp sharing your details with Facebook

Comments

More

Leaked poster appears to confirm Destiny 2 release date

And it sounds like they're doing a beta in June

by Matt Tate
23 Mar 2017

Android users can finally play Super Mario Run - and definitely should

Extended toilet breaks for everyone

by Matt Tate
23 Mar 2017

Apple have released a red iPhone and that is very important

And not just because it's red

by Gary Ogden
21 Mar 2017

Amazon's new Alexa update means it can bring you beer in two hours

"Alexa, we're going to need more booze"

by Matt Tate
21 Mar 2017

Forget traffic jams with this SUV that can drive over cars

Why has it taken so long to invent this?

by Dave Fawbert
21 Mar 2017

Zelda megafan controls his smart home with an ocarina

Pointless? Possibly. Are we envious? Definitely

by Matt Tate
20 Mar 2017

Why I pray every day for an 'SSX Tricky' remake

It's all about that Big Air Bonus

by Matt Tate
17 Mar 2017

Soon you'll be able to steal your mate's phone battery to charge your

"Oh come on, mate, I've only got 4%"

by Gary Ogden
17 Mar 2017

How to cheat your way to victory in 'Mario Kart 64'

Anyone fancy digging the old N64 out again?

by Matt Tate
17 Mar 2017

5 new(ish) mobile games guaranteed to make any commute bearable

It doesn't have to be this painful

by Matt Tate
16 Mar 2017