(Refiles to change media identification slug, add picture
By Terje Solsvik
OSLO, Sept 9 Norway's prime minister joined a
campaign by a Norwegian newspaper on Friday accusing Facebook
Inc of undue censorship by barring a Vietnam War era news
photograph showing a naked girl fleeing a napalm attack.
The social media giant erased the iconic photograph, showing
children running from a bombed village, from the Facebook pages
of several Norwegian authors and media outlets, including
top-selling newspaper Aftenposten.
Captured in 1972 by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nick Ut of the
Associated Press, the image of screaming children running from a
napalm attack shows a naked nine-year-old girl at its centre.
Aftenposten splashed the photograph across the front page of
its newspaper on Friday, next to a large Facebook logo, and
wrote a front-page editorial headlined "Dear Mark Zuckerberg",
arguing that the network was undermining democracy.
Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg then posted the
photograph on her own Facebook profile, writing that it had
contributed to change the course of world history. The image
later disappeared from the page.
"Facebook gets it wrong when they censor such pictures. It
limits the freedom of speech," Solberg wrote. "I say yes to
healthy, open and free debate - online and wherever else we go.
But I say no to this form of censorship."
Solberg in her posting also praised Facebook for combating
pictures of child abuse. Aftenposten, in its editorial, said
Facebook should be able to tell the difference between child
pornography and famous war photography.
Facebook said in a statement its rules were more blunt than
the company itself would prefer, adding that restrictions on
nudity were necessary on a global platform.
"While we recognize that this photo is iconic, it's
difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph
of a nude child in one instance and not others," a company
"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."
In May, Solberg was present when Facebook opened its first
(Editing by Alister Doyle)