After Facebook deletes famous war photo, Norwegian daily fights back

Norway's largest newspaper accused Facebook of censorship on Friday after the social networking giant deleted a famous Vietnam War-era photo of a young girl running naked on a road after a napalm bombing.

The photo was published on Aftenposten's front page Friday along with an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In the message, the paper criticizes the company's removal on Thursday of the photo from Aftenposten's Facebook page under rules against nudity.

Editor-in-chief Espen Egil Hansen said his newspaper would "not comply" with a request to remove Nick Ut's 1972 photo that was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Aftenposten is but one Facebook user to be caught up in the nudity ban affecting Ut's iconic photo.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Friday shared the Vietnam War photo on her Facebook page with an entry saying the company "has drawn the wrong conclusions when censoring such photos."

A few hours later the post was no longer visible, and the premier had not removed it herself, public broadcaster NRK and news agency NTB reported.

Hansen said he was "worried that the world's most important medium is limiting freedom instead of trying to extend it, and that this occasionally happens in an authoritarian way."

The newspaper received an email on Wednesday from Facebook's office in Hamburg asking that the photo be removed, Hansen said.

Less than 24 hours later, "you intervened yourselves and deleted the article as well as the image from Aftenposten's Facebook page," he wrote.

"Even though I am editor-in-chief of Norway's largest newspaper, I have to realize that you are restricting my room for exercising my editorial responsibility," Hansen said.

He told NRK he did not expect a reply from Zuckerberg.

The minister of culture, Linda Cathrine Hofstad Helleland, tweeted that she planned a meeting next week between Norwegian editors and Facebook representatives.

Last update: Fri, 09/09/2016 - 13:40
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