Facebook is facing public backlash for censoring a famous Vietnam War photo of a napalm victim.
After the social media outlet removed the photo from Facebook, Norway’s largest newspaper Aftenposten accused CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg of abusing his power, according to CNBC.
Facebook sent the Norwegian newspaper a notice after one of its journalists posted the photograph, a depiction of children (one of them nude) running and screaming from a napalm attack. Before the newspaper had time to respond, Facebook removed the photo from their news feed.
The journalist who originally posted the picture, attempted to do so four times and was then banned from Facebook for 24 hours by the community standards team, reports the Financial Times.
Espen Egil Hansen, Aftenposten’s editor-in-chief, published a letter to Mr. Zuckerberg where he says Facebook is making it impossible for editors’ to choose what they can publish.
The editor-in-chief explained that the media has “a responsibility to consider publication in every single case. This may be a heavy responsibility. Each editor must weigh the pros and cons.” He drove it home saying that “this right and duty, which all editors in the world have, should not be undermined by algorithms encoded in your office in California.”
Facebook asserts that it isn’t an algorithm that censors content, but the community standards team.
Hansen went so far as to say that “I am upset, disappointed – well, in fact even afraid – of what you are about to do to a mainstay of our democratic society.”
In an age where 44 percent of adults in America alone get their news from Facebook, it appears that Hansen’s fears are not unwarranted.
Facebook responded with a public statement saying that the company recognizes that “this photo is iconic,” and yet, “it’s difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph of a nude child in one instance and not others,” the FT reports.
The company said it is always striving to find the “right balance between enabling people to express themselves while maintaining a safe and respectful experience for our global community.” The social media platform announced it “will continue to try to improve our policies and the ways in which we apply them.”
Facebook did not respond to inquiries by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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