Facebook decides to lift its ban on a controversial Vietnam War photograph

Facebook has changed its mind about removing the iconic “Napalm Girl” photograph from the Vietnam War that depicts child nudity.

“An image of a naked child would normally be presumed to violate our Community Standards, and in some countries might even qualify as child pornography,” Facebook said on Friday. “In this case, we recognise the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time.”

The reversal comes after a Norwegian newspaper wrote a scathing open letter to Mark Zuckerberg criticising his company for “abusing your power” and censoring use of the photograph on Facebook.

Here’s Facebook’s full statement, per Recode:

“After hearing from our community, we looked again at how our Community Standards were applied in this case. An image of a naked child would normally be presumed to violate our Community Standards, and in some countries might even qualify as child pornography. In this case, we recognise the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time. Because of its status as an iconic image of historical importance, the value of permitting sharing outweighs the value of protecting the community by removal, so we have decided to reinstate the image on Facebook where we are aware it has been removed. We will also adjust our review mechanisms to permit sharing of the image going forward. It will take some time to adjust these systems but the photo should be available for sharing in the coming days. We are always looking to improve our policies to make sure they both promote free expression and keep our community safe, and we will be engaging with publishers and other members of our global community on these important questions going forward.”

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