Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Facebook Censored One of the Most Well-Known Photos of War

Aftenposten editor-in-chief Espen Egil Hansen, in an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg:

A few weeks ago the Norwegian author Tom Egeland posted an entry on Facebook about, and including, seven photographs that changed the history of warfare. You in turn removed the picture of a naked Kim Phuc, fleeing from the napalm bombs – one of the world’s most famous war photographs.

Tom then rendered Kim Phuc’s criticism against Facebook for banning her picture. Facebook reacted by excluding Tom and prevented him from posting a new entry.

Listen, Mark, this is serious. First you create rules that don’t distinguish between child pornography and famous war photographs. Then you practice these rules without allowing space for good judgement. Finally you even censor criticism against and a discussion about the decision – and you punish the person who dares to voice criticism.

Peter Kafka of Recode:

As of yesterday, Facebook was insisting that this was a feature, not a bug, telling reporters that “it’s difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph of a nude child in one instance and not others” — even when that Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph is one of the best-known images in the world.

That’s a load of horse shit. Any human being with half a brain cell can tell the difference between child porn and a photograph of war, just like anyone can tell the difference between child porn and a parent posting a photo of their kid in a bath. There is no overlap. For Facebook to state otherwise is infuriating.

Facebook has now said that they’re going to allow people to share this photo, and they’re working on reinstating any posts that were removed. However, they haven’t committed to a change of policy so that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.