Tuesday

26th Sep 2017

Focus

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • 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.

In cooperation with

News in Brief

  1. EU commission provides €2mn for food quality studies
  2. Almost a third of Europeans unaware of cost-free roaming
  3. No immediate declaration after Tallinn digital summit
  4. Alternative women's rights fund raises €292mn
  5. Russian gay rights activist calls for EU action
  6. Food maker shamed on inferior products in Croatia
  7. British PM to meet EU president on Brexit
  8. Russia's Ukraine 'republic' opens mission in France

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEEU Finance Ministers Agreed to Develop New Digital Taxation Rules
  2. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  3. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  4. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  6. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought I 27 September, 2017
  7. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  10. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  11. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  12. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel