After being criticised for removing an iconic photograph of a girl fleeing a Napalm attack taken during the Vietnam war in 1972, social media giant Facebook on Friday took a U-turn saying it would allow the photo to be posted on the platform.
It had previously removed the image, posted by a Norwegian author, on the grounds that it contained nudity. The move sparked a debate about Facebook’s role as an editor.
The editor of Norway’s largest newspaper had written an open letter to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg calling the ban “an abuse of power”, BBC reported.
Facebook later said it had “listened to the community” and acknowledged the “global importance” of the photo.
“…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,” Facebook was quoted as saying.
“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,” the company added.
Meanwhile, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who had earlier posted a copy of the photo on Facebook herself only to see it removed, welcomed the decision.
“That’s very good, I’m a happy prime minister,” Solberg said.