Prime Minister's account censored by Facebook: 'Napalm girl' removed

Friday morning the Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg shared Nick Ut's historical picture from the Vietnam war. A few hours later, the social media giant has removed the picture.

Erna Solbergs innlegg om Nick Uts bilde

Norwegian PM Erna Solberg shared the famous 'napalm girl' picture on her Facebook account. It was removed by Facebook a few hours later.

Foto: Carina Johansen / Skjermbilde / NTB Scanpix

Solberg shared the controversial image on her personal Facebook wall Friday morning, accompanied by a text where she confronts the company's censorship rules.

«Facebook missteps when they censor images like this. It stifles the freedom of speech», Solberg writes in the post, which was also shared by the Minister of Culture, Linda Hofstad Helleland.

A few hours later the post disapperared from both walls.

Confirms that Facebook removed the post

– Facebook removed the image from Erna Solberg's account. It happened while we were on a plane with no reception, Secretary of State at the Prime Minister's Office Sigbjørn Aanes conferms to NRK this afternoon.

He labels the Facebook censoring of the Prime Minister's post as unfortunate.

– It is very unfortunate that Facebook removes this post. By removing images like this they're editing a part of our common history.

– Will the Prime Minister repost the image?

– We just landed, and have to think through how we will proceed. But we need to follow up somehow, Aanes says.

– The debate is important

Aanes says Solberg shared this image to start a debate on what power Facebook has in censoring Norwegian media.

– Facebook is the most important source of news we have today. That has given them a lot of power, and it is important to have a debate on censorship of this kind of images.

The Minsiter of Education, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, has also posted the picture, which is still out at the time of writing.

In an e-mail to NRK a Facebook spokesperson writes:

«While we recognize that this photo is iconic, it is difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph of a nude child in one instance and not others. We try to find the right balance between enabling people to express themselves while maintaining a safe and respectful experience for our global community. 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.»


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