Facebook backtracked on Friday (Sep 9) on a decision to censor an iconic Vietnam War photo of a naked girl escaping a napalm bombing, after its block on the historic image sparked outrage.
The online giant stopped short of apologising, saying the image had been flagged for violating standards regarding inappropriate posts at the world’s leading social network.
“An image of a naked child would normally be presumed to violate our Community Standards, and in some countries might even qualify as child pornography,” Facebook said in a statement.
“In this case, we recognise the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time.”
Taken by photographer Nick Ut Cong Huynh for the Associated Press, the 1972 picture of a naked Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack is considered one of the war’s defining images. It was honoured with the Pulitzer Prize.
An active social media user, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg defied Facebook early Friday by posting the photograph, helping to bring the weeks-long controversy to a head. Her post was taken down several hours later, deleted by Facebook, she said.
After Facebook reversed position on the image, Solberg told the BBC she was a “happy prime minister.” “It shows that using social media can make (a) political change even in social media.”
Facebook on Friday reversed its decision to censor an iconic Vietnam War photo of a naked girl escaping a napalm bombing, after the move set off a wave of outrage, including from Norway’s prime minister.