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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
  • 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, Instagram Goes Down For PC and Desktop Users in UK

On WhatsApp, the users reported problems were with sending or receiving messages, followed by connection issues

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Facebook
"Desktop browser Facebook been slow for a few days & now won't load pages or login ... mobile version works fine!" says one user. Pixabay

Facebook and Instagram went down for the PC and desktop users in the UK on Sunday evening although mobile access was in perfect shape.

Several users took to Twitter, saying they could not access the social networking platform as well as its photo-sharing app on desktops. Both the platforms were up after couple of hours of downtime, reports outage tracking website Downdetector.

Several people replied to DownDetector UK’s official account to report which areas Facebook was down in. “Facebook is having issues since 5:24 PM BST. RT if it’s down for you as well #Facebookdown,” posted DownDetector.

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“Desktop browser Facebook been slow for a few days & now won’t load pages or login … mobile version works fine!” replied one user. The social media giant was yet to update its users why this happened.

Instagram
Facebook and Instagram went down for the PC and desktop users in the UK on Sunday evening although mobile access was in perfect shape. Pixabay

“I can still access it on my mobile but not on my PC, even though both going through the same router,” tweeted one user. On April 2, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp went down for millions of users in North and South America and Europe.

The frequently reported problems on Facebook were with images, according to Downdetector. Some people also had issues with News Feed and logging in. On Instagram, the majority of issues were with News Feed.

ALSO READ: Google Starts Showing Locations of Food, Night Shelters in Cities Across India

On WhatsApp, the users reported problems were with sending or receiving messages, followed by connection issues. (IANS)