Norwegian editor challenges Zuckerberg to discuss censorship
Oslo, Sep 20 (IANS) A Norwegian editor who successfully took on Facebook over its censorship of the famous “napalm girl” photograph has challenged Mark Zuckerberg to publicly face up to his responsibility as one of the worlds most powerful people.
Espen Egil Hansen, whose newspaper Aftenposten helped force the social media site to back down in it decision to remove “The Terror of War” image from Facebook versions of its articles, accused Zuckerberg of ducking the debate.
The Pulitzer prize-winning image was originally taken by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut, and shows a naked nine-year-old Kim Phúc fleeing from a napalm bombing along with other children during the Vietnam War in 1972.
He branded Facebook a “frenemy of the people” because of the way it dominates the internet.
The company has relied instead on anonymous quotes released by a Swedish PR firm, Hansen told the Guardian on Tuesday.
Hansen urged Zuckerberg to stop hiding behind the company’s powerful algorithms and personally engage in this issue. He added that Zuckerberg’s passive approach so far was “bad for democracy” and could be bad for the social media giant in the long run.
“Zuckerberg is de facto the most powerful editor-in-chief on the globe. His influence is greater than all the Rupert Murdochs of this world could dream about … We have now arrived at the point where Facebook, by controlling what they show to more than 1 billion people every day, has aggregated so much editorial power that Zuckerberg must acknowledge his responsibility and take part in the discussion,” Hansen said.
The image, along with six more, was posted on Facebook by Norwegian writer Tom Egeland in a discussion of photographs that changed the history of warfare.