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Norway’s PM challenges Facebook over Kim Phuc’s iconic nude napalm attack photograph

Norwegians have posted the iconic photo of a naked, screaming girl running from a napalm attack in Vietnam on their social media network in protest, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg joined them on Friday

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The front page of Norway's Aftenposten is seen at a news stand in Oslo, Norway, Sept. 9, 2016. The newspapers chief editor accused Facebook of abusing its power after it deleted an 1972 iconic image of a nude Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack. Source: VOA
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  • Protests against Facebook restrictions on nude photos challenged by Norway’s prime minister
  • Norwegians against Mark Zuckerberg’s decision of removing an image of a naked, screaming girl running from a napalm attack in Vietnam
  • Facebook responded that “it’s difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph of a nude child in one instance and not others.”

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK, Sept 12, 2016 —Facebook’s restrictions on nude photos was challenged by Norway’s prime minister on Friday for posting an iconic 1972 image of a naked, screaming girl running from a napalm attack in Vietnam. Facebook quickly deleted it.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning image by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut is at the center of a heated debate about freedom of speech in Norway after Facebook removed it from a Norwegian author’s page last month.

Since then many Norwegians have posted the photo on the social media network in protest, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg joined them on Friday. Facebook removed her post within hours, said Sigbjorn Aanes, one of Solberg’s aides.

“What they do by removing images of this kind, whatever [the] good intentions, is to edit our common history,” Solberg told the Norwegian news agency NTB.

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Facebook, in a statement from its European headquarters in London, responded that “it’s difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph of a nude child in one instance and not others.”

The little girl in the image, Kim Phuc, is naked and crying as the napalm melts away layers of her skin.

Solberg’s lead was followed by several members of the Norwegian government and they also posted the photo on their Facebook pages. One of them, Education Minister Torbjorn Roe Isaksen, said it was “an iconic photo, part of our history.”

Solberg later reposted the image with a black box covering the girl from the thighs up. She also posted other iconic photos of historic events, such as the man standing in front of a tank in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, with black boxes covering the protagonists.

“While I was on a plane from Oslo to Trondheim, Facebook deleted a post from my Facebook page,” she wrote. “Today, pictures are such an important element in making an impression, that if you edit past events or people, you change history and you change reality.”

Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten published the photo on its front page Friday and also wrote an open letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in which chief editor Espen Egil Hansen accused the social media giant of abusing its power.

Hansen said he was “upset, disappointed – well, in fact even afraid – of what you are about to do to a mainstay of our democratic society.”

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“We try to find the right balance between enabling people to express themselves while maintaining a safe and respectful experience for our global community,” Facebook’s statement said. “Our solutions won’t always be perfect, but we will continue to try to improve our policies and the ways in which we apply them.”

Paul Colford, AP vice president and director of media relations, said: “The Associated Press is proud of Nick Ut’s photo and recognizes its historical impact. In addition, we reserve our rights to this powerful image.” (VOA)

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British Campaigner Sues Facebook Over Fake Ads

British campaigner to sue Facebook over fake ads

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The Facebook's image.
Facebook. Pixabay

British consumer campaigner Martin Lewis is suing Facebook for defamation after dozens of fake advertisements bearing his name were published on the social media platform.

The founder of MoneySavingExpert.com — a British consumer finance information website — said that at least 50 fake ads bearing his name appeared on the social media platform, causing reputational damage to him, BBC reported late on Sunday.

Lewis is due to lodge court papers at the High Court for a defamation case against Facebook on Monday. He is seeking damages but pledged that the money would go to anti-scam charities, the report noted.

Several advertisements allegedly show his face alongside endorsements that he has not made.

Representational image for Facebook.
Representational image. Pixabay

“These adverts tout schemes with titles such as Bitcoin code and Cloud Trader which, according to Lewis, are fronts for binary trading firms outside the European Union (EU),” BBC said.

Binary trading is a form of financial transaction which British financial regulatory body Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned consumers against.

According to Lewis, a woman had spent 100,000 pounds ($140,000) in “a binary trading nightmare” that had attached his name to its advertising.

“I get about five messages a day from people saying, ‘I’ve just seen your Bitcoin ad and wanted to check it.’ If that is the number who get through to me, how many more must be just taken in?” Lewis was quoted as saying.

Also Read: Facebook introduces new privacy updates for EU users

He said Facebook had failed to stop the adverts despite his complaints and action.

“It is consistent, it is repeated. Other companies who have run these adverts have taken them down. What is particularly pernicious about Facebook is that it says the onus is on me, so I have spent time and effort and stress repeatedly to have them taken down,” he said.

Meanwhile, Facebook said the misleading ads are not allowed and any reported are removed.  IANS