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Norway's Largest Newspaper Accuses Mark Zuckerberg of Abusing Power After Facebook Deletes 'Napalm Girl' Post (theguardian.com) 273

An anonymous shares a report on The Guardian:Norway's largest newspaper has published a front-page open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, lambasting the company's decision to censor a historic photograph of the Vietnam war and calling on Zuckerberg to recognize and live up to his role as "the world's most powerful editor." Espen Egil Hansen, the editor-in-chief and CEO of Aftenposten, accused Zuckerberg of thoughtlessly "abusing your power" over the social media site that has become a lynchpin of the distribution of news and information around the world, writing, "I am upset, disappointed -- well, in fact even afraid -- of what you are about to do to a mainstay of our democratic society. I am worried that the world's most important medium is limiting freedom instead of trying to extend it, and that this occasionally happens in an authoritarian way," he said. The controversy stems from Facebook's decision to delete a post by Norwegian writer Tom Egeland that featured The Terror of War, a Pulitzer prize-winning photograph by Nick Ut that showed children -- including the naked 9-year-old Kim Phuc -- running away from a napalm attack during the Vietnam war. Egeland's post discussed "seven photographs that changed the history of warfare" -- a group to which the "napalm girl" image certainly belongs.
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Norway's Largest Newspaper Accuses Mark Zuckerberg of Abusing Power After Facebook Deletes 'Napalm Girl' Post

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  • by bfpierce ( 4312717 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @10:15AM (#52854543)

    If Facebook is considered a 'mainstay of democratic society' you know the news media is complete fucking disconnected from reality.

    • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @10:20AM (#52854581)
      You have to account to how younger generations communicate and consume media. For a large number of people Twitter + Facebook would account for nearly 100% of news and speech related activities. As such, it becomes trivially easy to censor and fail to inform without running into any traditional safeguards designed to protect free speech and journalism.
      • by bfpierce ( 4312717 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @10:31AM (#52854669)

        That reinforces my point that the news media/journalism is completely disconnected from reality.

        Dissemination of facts is no longer about vetting and varifying information, it's about how many SJW's you can get to follow your posts and give you likes. There are no 'traditional safeguards' that work on the 'reddit' format. That's not how the mob fucking works.

        • by sinij ( 911942 )
          In that case I agree with you. I misunderstood what you included in the definition of media in your original post.
        • That reinforces my point that the news media/journalism is completely disconnected from reality.

          It isn't. It's divorced from its alleged mission of providing news on reality, but it seeks to create reality by providing misleading commentary, or outright lies.

          Dissemination of facts is no longer about vetting and varifying information, it's about how many SJW's you can get to follow your posts and give you likes.

          Acronym "SJW" used, dickhead detected.

          There are no 'traditional safeguards' that work on the 'reddit' format.

          There are no 'traditional safeguards' that work on the 'newspaper' (etc. etc.) format. That's now how news fucking works. At least, not in America; in this country, you can call yourself a news organization without making any attempt whatsoever to be factual [projectcensored.org], or even being willfully disingenuous. Furthermore,

      • If facebook was censoring other sites, that would be censorship, but they are not. The safeguards against such a thing are too numerous to mention. The worst censors right now are the copyright trolls that can use the government courts to shut down any number of sites with frivolous claims of "ownership".

    • If Facebook is considered a 'mainstay of democratic society' you know the news media is complete fucking disconnected from reality.

      Free and uncensored communication is the mainstay of democratic society.

      Facebook just happens to be the medium that a very large fraction of people are using to accomplish this, right at the moment.

      • by bfpierce ( 4312717 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @10:47AM (#52854819)

        Dissemination of information based upon the feelings and opinions of the users to decide what is and is not 'news' is NEVER uncensored communication.

        It cannot ever BE MADE to be uncensored. It is filtered.

        If you're basing what you view as 'free communication' off of what is 'trending' that's a problem, and a HUGE one. The fact that people think this is a good thing is (in only my opinion of course) a travesty.

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          Dissemination of information based upon the feelings and opinions of the users to decide what is and is not 'news' is NEVER uncensored communication. It cannot ever BE MADE to be uncensored. It is filtered. If you're basing what you view as 'free communication' off of what is 'trending' that's a problem, and a HUGE one. The fact that people think this is a good thing is (in only my opinion of course) a travesty.

          Voting as metadata saying you approve or disapprove of a post is an expression of free speech, even if you don't seem to like it. Actual filtering of negatively rated posts to the point where you can't read them anymore is censorship. People post a lot of drivel, there is no right that I should spend equal time on an insightful and informative +5 comment and a -1 GNAA troll, particularly if one side is just trying to flood the discussion with copy-pasta, crazy rants, meaningless drivel or blatant propaganda

    • by MitchDev ( 2526834 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @10:45AM (#52854805)

      This needs more exposure.

      Facebook is NOT a news site. It's not run by or populated by journalists.

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @10:53AM (#52854893)

      Considering how many people, people we allow to vote (for whatever ungodly reason), pretty much get most of their information from FB these days, yes, it is.

      • It's a mainstay of society, I won't doubt that.

        It is not a mainstay of "democratic" society, or should not be (IMO). There are some pretty famous "propagandists" who would look at this type of distribution of information and say "really, holy shit that just made my job way easier".

    • If Facebook is now considered to be a 'mainstay of democratic society' then we don't HAVE a 'democratic society' at all, all we have is a 'walled garden/authoritarian dictatorship'. Facebook does not represent or even listen much at all to what it's users have to say; they are a RESOURCE that Facebook uses to produce PRODUCTS (namely, personal data, which is sold to advertisers, and likely funneled into U.S. Federal Government servers, for use by the intelligence community). Facebook does whatever Facebook
  • It was worrying to hear that Zuckerberg deleted the image, but then I found out something that I think everyone else missed: He only deleted it from Facebook. So it's missing from (approximately; I'm just rounding to the nearest percentage) about 0% of the web, but there's still the other 100% where Zuckerberg didn't touch anything.

  • Mis-directed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wcrowe ( 94389 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @10:39AM (#52854759)

    Much as I dislike Mark Zuckerberg, the real problem is not him, nor Facebook, but the users who have made Facebook the " lynchpin of the distribution of news and information around the world..." I realize that Facebook is how a lot of people get their news, but the responsibility for that rests on the shoulders of the dumb shits who use it that way, not on Mark Zuckerberg. While Zuckerberg has made it clear that he would like for Facebook to become everyone's entire internet experience, that can't happen without the cooperation of the people using it.

    • Yeah, it proves that "democracy doesn't give you good government, it gives you the government you deserve."
    • Lay a nice helping of blame on the traditional media who have spent more time fighting the internet than adapting to it. Why aren't they, with decades of in-house experience, creating better systems than Silicon Valley?

    • While Zuckerberg has made it clear that he would like for Facebook to become everyone's entire internet experience, that can't happen without the cooperation of the people using it.

      How some people (yeah, you, Norway) conflate lots of people visiting Mark's shitty little dorm-room website (all scaled up now) with something like a public water supply is beyond me.

      *I* don't like it when FB removes stuff I post (mostly fine art with boobs) but it's not my website, it's theirs.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Much as I dislike Mark Zuckerberg, the real problem is not him, nor Facebook, but the users who have made Facebook the " lynchpin of the distribution of news and information around the world..."

      Actually in this case it's pretty much a "you make your bed and now you got to lie in it" because the mainstream media in Norway has been either shutting down their comments section and forums or "outsourced" them to Facebook because of operating costs. A private, commercial company run by the cheapest labor Facebook can find - at least the image censors - and that's what you get. It's funny how they still think they're the newspaper and Facebook the printing press, but they're not.

  • The main problem (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyf ( 1129635 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @10:39AM (#52854761)
    The real issue here is the wide spread usage of Facebook as a news distributor. Media houses should let Facebook handle selfies and chat between friends, not the what and who of distributing news.

    Facebook can censor, suppress or hype any news story using "algorithms" that nobody outside of the company can inspect.
  • by MitchDev ( 2526834 ) on Friday September 09, 2016 @10:42AM (#52854785)

    Last I checked it's a social networking site, NOT a NEWS SOURCE.

    Despite the millions of users, it's a private company, not a government news source, they can censor if they want to. If it bothers enough of their users, those users will quit Facebook. ITts their site, they have no responsibility to provide an utterly open platform, nor have they ever claimed to. They take down porn, hate pages, etc.

  • I honestly saw this and thought it odd as I figured Facebook was becoming irrelevant. Most of my peers and my kids and their peers no longer even use the site or the apps. Surprised to see the outcry.

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