Facebook 'still fails Napalm girl test', says Aftenposten


Aftenposten editor and Napalm girl photoImage copyright
Aftenposten/Nick Ut

Image caption

Espen Egil Hansen, editor of Aftenposten, wrote an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg after the image was removed

Facebook’s plans to relax rules around posts deemed newsworthy or in the public interest do not go far enough, a Norwegian newspaper editor has said.

Facebook director Patrick Walker was visiting Norway following a row about the banning of an iconic Vietnam War image on the grounds of nudity.

He said changes were being made but news images may still fall foul of its policies on appropriate material.

Espen Egil Hansen, of Aftenposten, said Facebook still had “a long way to go”.

Facebook had originally said the “Napalm girl” photo breached its rules on nudity, when it was posted and then removed by a Norwegian author in September.

It backed down after a high profile protest led by Aftenposten and backed by Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Mr Walker told the Association of Norwegian Editors in Oslo: “We have made a number of policy changes after The Terror of War photo.

“We have improved our escalation process to ensure that controversial stories and images get surfaced more quickly.

“In the weeks ahead, we are going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant or important to the public interest, even if they might otherwise violate our standards.”

But he added: “We do not think of ourselves as editors.

“We believe it is essential that Facebook stay out of the business of deciding what issues the world should read about – but we do retain the right to take things down when they violate our community standards.”

Mr Hansen said: “Facebook is a media company… with an influence on the global conversation unlike any the world has seen before.

“When you decide what kind of content is ‘newsworthy, significant and important ‘and what is not – well, then you do what I do: serve as editor of a media company.”

Mr Hansen called for Facebook to be more transparent about its policies and for the world’s media companies to work harder to connect with their audiences.



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