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Zuckerberg slammed after Facebook deletes iconic "Napalm Girl" photo; Facebook responds

By midian182 ยท 44 replies
Sep 9, 2016
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  1. Facebook has been criticized over its policies regarding censoring. In an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, the editor-in-chief and CEO of Aftenposten, Norway’s largest newspaper, blasted the social network’s decision to delete the historic “Napalm Girl” photograph taken during the Vietnam war because it violated the site’s policy on nudity.

    Update: As controversy escalated, Facebook is now in the process of reinstating the famous war photo. Facebook's official response on the matter can be read at the bottom of this post.

    A few weeks ago, Norwegian writer Tom Egeland created a Facebook post called “seven photographs that changed the history of warfare.” One of the images was The Terror of War by Nick Ut, which shows several children running from a napalm attack during the Vietnam war. Among them is naked 9-year-old Kim Phúc.

    Facebook proceeded to delete the post and suspend Egeland’s account. Aftenposten then reported the incident – using the same photo in its article - and shared the item on its Facebook page. Facebook responded by demanding that the publication “either remove or pixelize” the image.

    “Any photographs of people displaying fully nude genitalia or buttocks, or fully nude female breast, will be removed,” Facebook said in the notice. But before the paper could respond, the article and image were deleted from its Facebook page.

    In an open letter, editor-in-chief Espen Egil Hansen called Zuckerberg the “world’s most powerful editor,” and lambasted the company’s decision to remove the photograph.

    Even though I am editor-in-chief of Norway’s largest newspaper, I have to realize that you are restricting my room for exercising my editorial responsibility,” he wrote. “I think you are abusing your power, and I find it hard to believe that you have thought it through thoroughly.

    If you will not distinguish between child pornography and documentary photographs from a war, this will simply promote stupidity and fail to bring human beings closer to each other.

    Responding to a Guardian request for comment, a Facebook spokesperson said: “While we recognize 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. 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.”

    Facebook has been having a difficult time recently when it comes to relations with the media. Earlier this year, a former member of Facebook’s Trending Topics curation team said they were told to routinely suppress news stories that supported conservative political viewpoints. Last month, the company removed its editorial team, replacing them with algorithmic process that managed to push a fake news story to the top of trending list.

    Here is Facebook's response after they decided to reinstate the iconic war photo:

    After hearing from our community, we looked again at how our Community Standards were applied in this case. An image of a naked child would normally be presumed to violate our Community Standards, and in some countries might even qualify as child pornography. In this case, we recognize the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time. Because of its status as an iconic image of historical importance, the value of permitting sharing outweighs the value of protecting the community by removal, so we have decided to reinstate the image on Facebook where we are aware it has been removed. We will also adjust our review mechanisms to permit sharing of the image going forward. It will take some time to adjust these systems but the photo should be available for sharing in the coming days. We are always looking to improve our policies to make sure they both promote free expression and keep our community safe, and we will be engaging with publishers and other members of our global community on these important questions going forward.

    Permalink to story.

    DarkLense likes this.
  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 4,138   +1,218

    JamesSWD likes this.
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,244   +1,677

    Nudity is nudity historic or not. I'll give Facebook that. But the deleting of the article before they could respond is a bit harsh, maybe I didn't read it. What really disturbs me about Facebook is the last paragraph.
    Kibaruk likes this.
  4. alabama man

    alabama man TS Guru Posts: 563   +355

    Damn Zuckerberg is sick if he faps to that, damn. Well isn't a surprise really, he looks like a skull ****er. It would be nice if they used dumb US censorship only in the US and left rest of the world alone. Doesn't really bother me as I haven't and never will use facebook, just another reason to never start using it.
    SirChocula and MonsterZero like this.
  5. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,818   +1,182

    That, exactly that.

    We have a spanish saying "ley pareja no es dura" that would roughly translate to, policy for everyone is not tough. If someone has an issue with that nudity being it art, history, or whatever and they report it, it goes against the policy stated by Facebook and to which you agreed at one point even if you didn't read the ToAs before hitting accept.
    psycros and stewi0001 like this.
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,609   +3,217

    Should I publish some nude photos to finally get my account removed permanently?

    I've tried for years, without success, they keep resurrecting my account.
  7. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,825   +2,672

    That might get you reported to the authorities, but to kill your account? You'll need some ISIS junk on there for that miracle to happen.
    EClyde likes this.
  8. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,609   +3,217

    I hear you, bro, only terrorists get the honor.
    psycros likes this.
  9. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 582   +334

    I think you're missing the point that the image portrays. Maybe its because you can't relate to the atrocity or horror of someone firebombing your country with a napalm strike? Graphic images are necessary to show how hateful and unrelentless people can be in an effort to bring people together and stop hate.

    Media reports what they want, and a lot of the time you miss out on critical events that you could have helped but instead they were heavily censored or not even reported on so you missed the whole thing. Example of this is the pipeline they are trying to put over Indian burial ground in North Carolina.
    SirChocula likes this.
  10. Except that isn't how these policies are conceived. 'No nudity' polices concern erotic and general nudity, not context specific nudity.

    Example: Both National Geographic and (formerly) Playboy have featured nudity with regularity. Only one comes with a content rating; the other is given to children.

    The nudity in this case is critical to the meaning of the photograph. And, therefore, shouldn't fall under the purview of the rule. Zuck's decision to delete it is arbitrary, not compliance.
    SirChocula likes this.
  11. Write a post about Hillary's failing health.

    You can thank me later...if you live.
    SirChocula and psycros like this.
  12. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 8,285   +1,280

    FYI, story updated.
  13. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 810   +351

    Still feel they could blur out parts of the image or something, do you really HAVE to show a naked crying child running away to explain whats going on?

    Why was she naked in the first place, everyone else had clothes on. Feels like even back then people knew how to hype things up with some extra incentive.
  14. [​IMG]
  15. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 187   +44

    I stand with the decision that Mark Zuckerberg made. It is morally wrong to display nudity especially on an underage person. It goes against human dignity and if allowed would open doors for sins that would develop in chaos and disruption in society. And that usually leads to fate of the biblical depictions like that of sodom and gomorrah
  16. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,825   +2,672

    There's little doubt that the picture of that girl was meant to do anything but shock people. Its not even in context. You don't see napalm raining down or anything but people running. That pic has bothered me for decades..it always seemed exploitative. You know what you almost NEVER saw from the Vietnam-era press? Pictures of all the murdered villagers the Cong/ NVC were responsible for. Tens of thousands of people were slaughtered by those animals and the Cronkite Brigade glossed over it and in many cases outright *lied* to protect their ruthless commie pals.
  17. thanos999

    thanos999 TS Rookie

    well I dont no about you but im normally naked when im having a bath and if all off a sudden I was burning I to would be running and screaming in agony I wouldnt care if some ***** takes a photo off me running down the street naked and I wouldnt care iff some ***** 45 years from now is offended by the picture off me running down the street burning and shock horro naked
  18. How is it wrong. Explain, Mr. Moral Philosopher.
    Burty117 and SirChocula like this.
  19. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 810   +351

    You don't have towels in the bathroom? I would rather just take the napalm than run outside butt naked. Who lets a child bath alone with no supervision either?

    And 45 years isn't a long time, is this person still alive? Is that something she'd want everyone to see? Really don't understand why its so hard to just blur the image, it still shows the same exact message without the nudity on display.
  20. jack_alexander

    jack_alexander TS Enthusiast Posts: 29

    I saw that picture in a major magazine of the time before I went to Vietnam. It is part of history and should not be deleted, removed, hidden or otherwise as it is part of history. And war is wrong. Killing is murder and should be treated as such.

    I feel sorry for this young girl. She will have to live with that trauma for the rest of her life.
    MonsterZero likes this.
  21. JamesSWD

    JamesSWD TS Maniac Posts: 331   +182

    He or she could just post naked selfies of themselves (assuming they're an adult). That way, no child porn charge and he might get his account deleted...LOL.
  22. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,376   +72

    What about the stupidity of playboy deleting nude centerfolds?
  23. JamesSWD

    JamesSWD TS Maniac Posts: 331   +182

    That, my friend...is a crime against mankind.
  24. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,710   +4,046

    The photograph in question was and continues to be the most iconic image of the Vietnam War. Historical significance that rivals "David" or many other works of art. Zuckerberg simply reinforces his image as a basicly undereducated moran that no amount of wealth will every improve. Perhaps a class in art appreciation 101 or photojournalism 101 might help but frankly, he once again proves that the old mathematical computation for IQ remains the same .... one million times zero is still zero ......
    mosu, JamesSWD and (deleted member) like this.
  25. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 981   +339

    You have absolutely how horrible napalm is if you make a statement like that, you honestly should not comment on these things until you learn what they were dealing with. Napalm is not like getting hit with a rock, it is not something you take, it is horrible and NO ONE will just take it and go find a towel, you will run in fear and terror from it. I also wonder what kind of parents you had that would watch a 9 year old take a shower, 9 is more than old enough to shower on their own.

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