Outrage After Facebook Censors 'Napalm Girl' Photo

Editor accuses Mark Zuckerberg of 'abusing your power'
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2016 7:24 AM CDT
Nick Ut won a Pulitzer for taking this June 8, 1972, photo showing 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, running with her brothers and cousins after a napalm attack.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
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(Newser) – Norway's largest newspaper is blasting Facebook for deleting an iconic photograph of a naked child during the Vietnam War from its Facebook page—and suspending the writer who posted it. The photo by Nick Ut showing children fleeing a napalm attack triggered Facebook censors because the central figure is naked 9-year-old girl Kim Phuc. Norwegian writer Tom Egeland used the photo in a post discussing the "seven photographs that changed the history of warfare," the Guardian reports. Facebook, which bans pictures of nude genitalia, suspended Egeland and removed the post. When the newspaper Aftenposten reported the suspension on its Facebook page, the social media giant told it to "either remove or pixelize" the photo, but yanked the post before the paper could act.

In a front-page letter to Mark Zuckerberg (in English), the paper's outraged editor-in-chief rapped the Facebook founder (calling him "the world's most powerful editor") for "abusing your power." Espen Egil Hansen added, "I am upset, disappointed—well, in fact even afraid—of what you are about to do to a mainstay of our democratic society." A #DearMark thread he started on Twitter has racked up support, and while Zuckerberg himself hasn't responded, Facebook isn't backing down. "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," says a spokesman. (The girl in the photo now lives in Canada.)

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