Mark Zuckerberg accused of abusing power after Facebook deletes 'napalm girl' post - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The Guardian wrote:
Mark Zuckerberg accused of abusing power after Facebook deletes 'napalm girl' post


Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco
@juliacarriew

Friday 9 September 2016 07.15 BST


Norway’s largest newspaper published a front-page letter to the Facebook CEO lambasting the company’s decision to censor a photograph of the Vietnam war

Image
The historic photo from the Vietnam war that was censored. Photograph: Nick Ut/AP

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 added.

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 Phúc – 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.

Egeland was subsequently suspended from Facebook. When Aftenposten reported on the suspension – using the same photograph in its article, which was then shared on the publication’s Facebook page – the newspaper received a message from Facebook asking it to “either remove or pixelize” the photograph.

“Any photographs of people displaying fully nude genitalia or buttocks, or fully nude female breast, will be removed,” the notice from Facebook explains.

Before Aftenposten could respond, Hansen writes, Facebook deleted the article and image from the newspaper’s Facebook page.

In his open letter, Hansen points out that Facebook’s decision to delete the photograph reveals a troubling inability to “distinguish between child pornography and famous war photographs”, as well as an unwillingness to “allow[ing] space for good judgement”.

“Even though I am editor-in-chief of Norway’s largest newspaper, I have to realize that you are restricting my room for exercising my editorial responsibility,” he wrote. “I think you are abusing your power, and I find it hard to believe that you have thought it through thoroughly.”

Hansen goes on to argue that rather than fulfill its mission statement to “make the world more open and connected”, such editorial decisions “will simply promote stupidity and fail to bring human beings closer to each other”.

The Aftenposten editorial comes at a time of scrutiny on Facebook for its ever-increasing dominance in the dissemination of news.

News organizations are uncomfortably reliant on Facebook to reach an online audience. According to a 2016 study by Pew Research Center, 44% of US adults get their news on Facebook.

Facebook’s popularity means that its algorithms can exert enormous power over public opinion.

A May 2016 report by Gizmodo that Facebook’s trending bar was deliberately suppressing articles from conservative news sites set off a firestorm that saw Zuckerberg making personal outreach to top conservatives.

Facebook recently fired the team of editors who managed the trending topics section, choosing to replace them with algorithms that quickly demonstrated the difficulty of automating news editorial judgment by promoting a fake news story.

In his open letter, Hansen points out that the types of decision Facebook makes about what kind of content is promoted, tolerated, or banned – whether it makes those decisions algorithmically or not – are functionally editorial.

“The media have a responsibility to consider publication in every single case,” he wrote. “This right and duty, which all editors in the world have, should not be undermined by algorithms encoded in your office in California.”

“Editors cannot live with you, Mark, as a master editor.”

Speaking in Rome last month, Zuckerberg addressed the question of Facebook’s role in the news media and appeared to downplay his editorial responsibilities.

“We are a tech company, not a media company,” he said.
“The world needs news companies, but also technology platforms, like what we do, and we take our role in this very seriously.”

Hansen’s suggestions for Facebook to improve its behavior include “geographically differentiated guidelines and rules for publication”, “distinguish[ing] between editors and other Facebook users,” and a “comprehensive review of the way you operate”.

He also called for increased accessibility from the company, writing, “Today, if it is possible at all to get in touch with a Facebook representative, the best one may hope for are brief, formalistic answers, with rigid references to universal rules and guidelines.”

“While we recognize that this photo is iconic, it’s difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph of a nude child in one instance and not others,” a spokesman for Facebook said in response to queries from the Guardian.

“We try to find the right balance between enabling people to express themselves while maintaining a safe and respectful experience for our global community. Our solutions won’t always be perfect, but we will continue to try to improve our policies and the ways in which we apply them.”

So Zuckerberg actually claims Facebook is not social media, it's just a tech company employing algorithms instead of humans to edit online content and manage its trending topics section. A hero of our times indeed. :lol:
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“Any photographs of people displaying fully nude genitalia or buttocks, or fully nude female breast, will be removed,” the notice from Facebook explains.


I think it's a positive development. Facebook was too slow to act on offensive posts and pages even after they were reported, which helped extremist groups grow on Facebook. Pegida peaked in 2015 thanks to its Facebook fan page but we don't hear about this Facebook group anymore. Its Facebook page had about 200,000 supporters last year but it's down to 31,000 now. The majority of former fans may have left the group, while some of those Pegida accounts could have been suspended.

https://www.facebook.com/pegidaevofficial
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Beren wrote:He doesn't seem to appreciate it much. Anyone can suspend/deactivate his own account, you don't need Facebook to do it for you.


And yet, when Facebook does it themselves, they're doing people a favor by getting them off that steaming pile of a website.
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Bulaba Jones wrote:And yet, when Facebook does it themselves, they're doing people a favor by getting them off that steaming pile of a website.

Sure Bulaba, you hate Facebook, I get it. However, if you're a newspaper, a journalist, or any other publisher publishing through Facebook, then Facebook doesn't do you a favour by deactivating your profile.
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Facebook gets too many posts to not used automated systems to do stuff like this. Ideally a real human would discriminate between this photo and any old nude photo but we don't live in an ideal world.

There are lots of things to criticize facebook for but this is a relatively minor one.
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This is simply one symptom of 'digital feudalism.' The Biometric book will continue to modify our information channels (be it automated algorithms or human bias), because they can. If you really wish to send a message to the binary Übermensch, organize one 'deactivate your facebook' day. Didn't the Pirate Bay founder, or co-founder, call MZ a dictator of the world's largest nation without borders? :hmm: People must realize that Facebook is not just some 'social media' aggregate, it exerts incredible influence over information and our ability to connect inside digital data quarries. Think about the condition POFO was in before our new leader took over (love ya Noemon)... When leaders abuse power, everyone suffers.
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ThirdTerm wrote:I think it's a positive development. Facebook was too slow to act on offensive posts and pages even after they were reported, which helped extremist groups grow on Facebook. Pegida peaked in 2015 thanks to its Facebook fan page but we don't hear about this Facebook group anymore. Its Facebook page had about 200,000 supporters last year but it's down to 31,000 now. The majority of former fans may have left the group, while some of those Pegida accounts could have been suspended.

https://www.facebook.com/pegidaevofficial


This is more of an example of Facebook's liberal bias, a controversy that came up earlier this year when their "algorithms" censored a lot of right-wing content while leaving Islamists untouched.

It could very well be that the algorithms were simply responding to an external media consensus, but Zuckerberg himself has a history of working closely with a Soros fund for immigration amnesty and various other schemes involving the free movement of labour. Like many other Jewish billionaires, he is keenly interested in the cosmopolitan transformation of society.
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Does every thread on PoFo have to eventually devolve into Jewish conspiracy theory? Like can't Zuckerberg just be an asshole?

My opinion is that this man owes you nothing. He's trying to make his platform safe for making money. Sure, it is "censoring" of an image, but he actually has every right to do so. Freedom of speech only applies to GOVERNMENTS. This is a privately owned corporation and it's up to you to not support it- vote with your time and dollar. If you don't like facebook, delete your account. It's obviously not intended nor was it ever intended to be a serious news outlet and most people who use it would reasonably agree on that.
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LV-GUCCI-PRADA-FLEX wrote:Does every thread on PoFo have to eventually devolve into Jewish conspiracy theory?


:lol: I've been here for almost 10 years. Not much has changed.

Like can't Zuckerberg just be an asshole?


Jewish cosmopolitanism is more of an evolutionary trait than a conspiracy.

My opinion is that this man owes you nothing. He's trying to make his platform safe for making money. Sure, it is "censoring" of an image, but he actually has every right to do so. Freedom of speech only applies to GOVERNMENTS. This is a privately owned corporation and it's up to you to not support it- vote with your time and dollar. If you don't like facebook, delete your account. It's obviously not intended nor was it ever intended to be a serious news outlet and most people who use it would reasonably agree on that.


Freedom of speech was restricted to public institutions before private corporate entities – which are legally considered to be persons – became as powerful and influential as they are (in some cases, having a deadlock of influence over the state apparatus itself). It might be legal for Facebook to do this, but the spirit of certain metaphysical principles (such as rights and freedoms) is not something that can be legislated away. If anything they are kept alive by sheer common sense.
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Well guys, looks like everyone/Beren can sleep soundly tonight. Power-abusing Zuckmeister caved and FB is allowing the picture back, uncensored.

LV-GUCCI-PRADA-FLEX wrote:Does every thread on PoFo have to eventually devolve into Jewish conspiracy theory?


... That's exactly what a Mossad agent would say on the internet. Where did you say you're from, Gucci Prada Flex?
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anarchist23 wrote:I know for sure that FB is pro Zionist. I just had my account terminated for calling Zoinists homophobic bigots on the Canadian friends of Israel account. Within an hour of the comments my account was terminated..


The zionists always get their man in the end.

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mikema63 wrote:Facebook gets too many posts to not used automated systems to do stuff like this. Ideally a real human would discriminate between this photo and any old nude photo but we don't live in an ideal world.

There are lots of things to criticize facebook for but this is a relatively minor one.

Sure, Facebook dehumanising its editing system totally must be just a relatively minor problem indeed. It's one thing they have that system, but it's another thing that they don't upgrade it and let it make the same mistake again and again. And they send formal bullshit letters rather than doing something real about it.

Bulaba Jones wrote:Well guys, looks like everyone/Beren can sleep soundly tonight. Power-abusing Zuckmeister caved and FB is allowing the picture back, uncensored.

Great, I'm happy.
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