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Aftenposten

Censorship Of War Photo Raises Concerns About Facebook's Media Role

Many are furious with CEO Mark Zuckerberg after Facebook censored an iconic photograph from the Vietnam War.

By Briana Altergott | September 9, 2016

Espen Egil Hansen is the editor-in-chief of Aftenposten, Norway's largest newspaper. And he's just one of many people upset with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg after the social media site censored an iconic Vietnam War photo. It showed a young girl named Kim Phuc running naked down a road after her village was hit by napalm.

"Mark, I believe you impair our ability to do our job," Hansen said in a video on Aftenposten's website.

It all started a few weeks ago when Norwegian author Tom Egeland got on Facebook and shared the photo along with several others that he said changed the history of warfare.

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Facebook's moderators removed the photo from his page. 

And when he tried to repost it along with an interview with Phuc criticizing Facebook's attempt to censor the image, he says his account was suspended for 24 hours.

SEE MORE: How A Fake News Story About Megyn Kelly Wound Up Trending On Facebook

When Hansen heard about the ordeal, he decided to post the photo and an accompanying article on Aftenposten's Facebook page.

He says he got this email from Facebook demanding the post be removed, and that Facebook took it down before he could respond.

On Friday, Hansen penned an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg echoing what many critics are saying about Facebook's decision.

The letter reads, in part: "Facebook has become a world-leading platform for spreading information, for debate and for social contact between persons. You have gained this position because you deserve it. But, dear Mark, you are the world's most powerful editor."

Facebook said in a statement Friday it has reviewed its community standards in this case and "decided to reinstate the image on Facebook where we are aware it has been removed."

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