Friday

10th Jul 2020

Facebook censors Norway's PM

  • Zuckerberg: The world's most powerful editor? (Photo: Maurizio Pesce)

Facebook has deleted a post by the Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg, in a row over the social media giant's decision to earlier emove an iconic photograph from the Vietnam war featuring a naked girl fleeing bombs.

Sloberg, while commending Facebook's effort to stop violent or abusive content, voiced support in a post for Norway's largest newspaper, Aftenposten after its editor-in-chief criticised Facebook for removing the Pulitzer-prize winning photograph from one of its posts.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Aftenposten printed the photo on its frontpage after Facebook took it down

The newspaper published a series of photographs that "changed the history of warfare". The 1972 picture by Nick Ut features nine-year old Kim Phuc running away, naked, from napalm bombs. Facebook asked the newspaper to remove or "pixelise" it because of her nudity.

The newspaper refused and Facebook took down the post. The newspaper then put the photograph on its front page on Friday (9 September), next to a Facebook logo.

Aftenposten's editor-in-chief Espen Egil Hansen wrote on open letter to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, accusing the firm of censorship.

While acknowledging Facebook's role in amplifying the newspaper's voice, Hansen wrote: "I think you are abusing your power, and I find it hard to believe that you have thought it through thoroughly."

"I have to realise that you are restricting my room for exercising my editorial responsibility. This is what you and your subordinates are doing in this case," he added in the open letter, calling Zuckerberg the world's most powerful editor.

PM Solberg was one of the Norwegian politicians who shared the iconic image.

“Facebook gets it wrong when they censor such images,” she wrote in her post, which also included the picture. “I say no to this type of censorship.”

"I want my children and other children to grow up in a society where history is taught as it was. Where they can learn from historical events and mistakes," Solberg wrote.

A few hours later the post on her profile was taken down. Later, the prime minister urged Facebook to review its editing policy.

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

Feature

Paradox: Nordics' privileged youth feel miserable

Young people in the Nordic countries are among the most privileged in the world - yet many of them feel miserable. The Nordic Council is concerned and aims to find out why.

Denmark falls behind in gender-equality ranking

Iceland remains the most gender-equal country in the world, followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden. But one Nordic country sticks out from its neighbours with few female lawmakers, senior officials and managers.

News in Brief

  1. Irish finance minister voted in as eurogroup president
  2. Italy's League party opens office near old communist HQ
  3. 'Significant divergences' remain in Brexit talks
  4. Germany identifies 32,000 right-wing extremists
  5. WHO to hold probe of global Covid-19 response
  6. China accuses Australia of 'gross interference' on Hong Kong
  7. EU to let Croatia, Bulgaria take first step to join euro
  8. Rushdie, Fukuyama, Rowling warn against 'intolerance'

Column

Small states in 'Big Power' games

Twenty years ago the most dominant foreign influence in Iceland was the United States, as it had been throughout the Cold War. Nowadays it is China.

Supported by

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Border pre-screening centres part of new EU migration pact
  2. EU 'failed to protect bees and pollinators', report finds
  3. MEPs give green light to road transport sector reform
  4. If EU wants rule of law in China, it must help 'dissident' lawyers
  5. Five ideas to reshape 'Conference on Future of Europe'
  6. EU boosts pledges to relocate minors from Greece
  7. Hydrogen strategy criticised for relying on fossil fuel gas
  8. Merkel urges EU unity to hold off economic fallout and populism

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us