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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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Facebook might lose $23 billion

This planned change sparked fears people will spend less time on the site, leading to its share stock suddenly dropping.

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Facebook shares fell down by 4% after Mark Zuckerberg announced a change in News Feed feature.
Facebook shares fell down by 4% after Mark Zuckerberg announced a change in News Feed feature.
  • Facebook recently was on the verge of losing $23 billion after they decided to make some changes in the News Feed feature.
  • The change was announced in order to make the time spent on the social networking site more meaningful.
  • However, the change leads to a 4% fall in the share of the Facebook.

Facebook was on course to lose 17 billion pounds ($23 billion) of its value after it announced it was making changes to its News Feed feature that will allow users to see more updates from family and friends than posts from businesses, brands and media.

Facebook share fell 4 percent within hours after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the changes to make the social network more meaningful, The Sun reported.

This change was supposed to make Facebook more meaningful. Pixabay
This change was supposed to make Facebook more meaningful. Pixabay

This could also result in lining them up for its worst financial position in more than three months — and Zuckerberg losing $3.3 billion of his own personal net worth.

“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent. We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us,” Zuckerberg posted on Facebook late on Thursday.

The CEO said that Facebook has got a feedback from the community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.

The change will show more posts by family and friends instead of brands and businesses, Pixabay
The change will show more posts by family and friends instead of brands and businesses, Pixabay

“We’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to help you have more meaningful social interactions,” he said.

“As we roll this out, you will see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people,” Zuckerberg added.

This planned change sparked fears people will spend less time on the site, leading to its share stock suddenly dropping.

Zuckerberg admitted that the new changes might not pay off at first, but believes it is important users have more meaningful social interactions, The Sun said. IANS