|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Tuesday, August 20, 2019
|Facebook backs off censoring 'napalm girl' photo|
Espen Egil Hansen, editor-in-chief and CEO of Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, poses for a photo on September 9, 2016 in Oslo. Espen Egil Hansen wrote an open letter to founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, accusing him of threatening the freedom of speech and abusing power after deleting the iconic picture from the Vietnam war, taken by Nick Ut, of a young girl running from napalm bombs. Erik JOHANSEN / NTB Scanpix / AFP.
by Glenn Chapman
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP).- Facebook backtracked Friday on a decision to censor an iconic Vietnam War photo of a naked girl escaping a napalm bombing, after its block on the historic image sparked outrage.
The online giant stopped short of apologizing, saying the image had been flagged for violating standards regarding inappropriate posts at the world's leading social network.
"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," Facebook said in a statement.
"In this case, we recognize the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time."
Taken by photographer Nick Ut Cong Huynh for the Associated Press, the 1972 picture of a naked Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack is considered one of the war's defining images. It was honored with the Pulitzer Prize.
An active social media user, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg defied Facebook early Friday by posting the photograph, helping to bring the weekslong controversy to a head.
Her post was taken down several hours later, deleted by Facebook, she said.
After Facebook reversed position on the image, Solberg told the BBC she was a "happy prime minister."
"It shows that using social media can make (a) political change even in social media."
Solberg refused to back down, re-posting the photo on her Facebook page, along with several other iconic pictures with sections blacked out, in an attempt to illustrate the absurdity of censoring historic images.
"What Facebook is doing by deleting photos like this, as good as their intentions are, is to edit our common history," she wrote in a post.
Solberg had shared the picture at Facebook in the name of freedom of expression amid a brewing debate in Norway.
The row began several weeks ago after Norwegian author Tom Egeland published a post about war photos, illustrated by the picture. Facebook promptly deleted it.
Egeland expressed delight in a Twitter message written in Norwegian after the Facebook about-face.
"Now I'm happy!" the tweet read in part.
"To all who said 'there's no point,' yes there is a point."
Norwegians had risen to his defense by publishing the photo, posts that Facebook also deleted in line with its rules barring nudity.
The affair took on such proportions that the Norwegian Press Federation asked the country's powerful pension fund, the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, to examine whether the censorship practice was in line with its ethical criteria for investments.
At the end of 2015, the fund owned 0.52 percent of Facebook.
Traditional media also voiced concern about the moves by Facebook, which has become a key source of news and information for hundreds of millions of people.
On Friday, Norway's biggest daily Aftenposten dedicated the front page of its print edition to the photo, and published a two-page open letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Tweaking the process
Facebook said it reversed course after the outcry from its members and that is was examining how its standards were applied in the situation.
"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," California-based Facebook said of the decision to reinstate posts of the image.
Facebook said it was also modifying its review mechanisms to prevent the image from being removed in future, but that process could take some time.
"The photo should be avai lable for sharing in the coming days," Facebook said.
"We will be engaging with publishers and other members of our global community on these important questions going forward."
This is not the first time Facebook has been accused of a lack of sensitivity in how it enforces its rules on appropriate content. The company has in the past blocked seminal artworks because they featured nudity.
Facebook is due to go on trial in France, where a schoolteacher accused it of censorship for blocking his account after he posted a photo of a painting by 19th-century master Gustave Courbet called "L'Origine du monde" (The Origin of the World) that depicts a woman's vagina.
And earlier this year, a Danish lawmaker also complained that Facebook had removed her picture of the Copenhagen statue of the Little Mermaid because of its nudity rules.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) depicted Facebook's censorship of the Vietnam War photo as a grave violation of freedom of information.
"The 'decency' rules used by this social network are so restrictive that they trample on the freedom to inform," RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said in a statement.
"We call on Facebook to add respect for the journalistic values of photos to these rules, and to ensure that their rules are never more severe than national legislations."
© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse
September 10, 2016
A 1,500 year old livestock stable found in the 'Avdat' National Park
Facebook backs off censoring 'napalm girl' photo
Mickey Mouse figurine resurfaces near Auschwitz
Britain's National Gallery fends off 'illicit' Matisse row
Elliott Erwitt photography collection donated to Harry Ransom Center
Pérez Art Museum Miami announces landmark acquisition from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry
Conservation work gives old paintings a new look
Master of Beauty: Karl Schenker's glamorous images on view at Museum Ludwig
Rineke Dijkstra's recent video installations debut at the Milwaukee Art Museum
Exhibition at Kunstmuseum Basel presents the image of Christ in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries
New film shows Beatlemania strain on Fab Four
Excellent results at Tokyo Chuo 2016 Autumn Auctions
Paul McCarthy's first major showing in Brussels opens at Xavier Hufkens
First museum solo exhibition of the artist Magali Reus opens at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Exhibition by London-based artist Peter Liversidge opens at Sean Kelly
Gorgeous tableaux that subtly evoke a world of associations on view at Huis Marseille
Asylum and refugee politics addressed in new exhibition in Copenhagen
Rachel Weathers joins Heritage Auctions as Consignment Director, Decorative Arts
Bronx Museum of the Arts appoints Joseph Mizzi as Board Chair and Joan Krevlin as Co-Vice Chair
Stephenson's auction a diverse, high-quality mix, ranging from estate art to a sporty red MG convertible
Works by Modern artists highlight Skinner's American & European Works of Art auctions
One man, one hand, and a hell of a medal group
Youth radicalization explored at Toronto film festival
Montclair Art Museum opens solo exhibition of esteemed artist Janet Taylor Pickett
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop
2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years
3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880
4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine
5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested
6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art
7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK
8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm
9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores
10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.