Dear Mark. I am writing this to inform you that I shall not comply with your requirement to remove this picture.

in steemit •  2 years ago

I think it's worth to repost here this open letter to Mark Zuckerberg by Aftenposten's Editor-in-chief Espen Egil Hansen
If this post will earn any significant amount of SD/STEEM I'll try to get it to the author otherwise I will just burn it by sending to @null account.

Dear Mark Zuckerberg.

I follow you on Facebook, but you don’t know me. I am editor-in-chief of the Norwegian daily newspaper Aftenposten. I am writing this letter to inform you that I shall not comply with your requirement to remove a documentary photography from the Vietnam war made by Nick Ut.

Not today, and not in the future.

The demand that we remove the picture came in an e-mail from Facebook’s office in Hamburg this Wednesday morning. Less than 24 hours after the e-mail was sent, and before I had time to give my response, you intervened yourselves and deleted the article as well as the image from Aftenposten’s Facebook page.

To be honest, I have no illusions that you will read this letter. The reason why I will still make this attempt, is that I am upset, disappointed – well, in fact even afraid - of what you are about to do to a mainstay of our democratic society.

First some background. A few weeks ago the Norwegian author Tom Egeland posted an entry on Facebook about, and including, seven photographs that changed the history of warfare. You in turn removed the picture of a naked Kim Phuc, fleeing from the napalm bombs – one of the world’s most famous war photographs.

Tom then rendered Kim Phuc’s criticism against Facebook for banning her picture. Facebook reacted by excluding Tom and prevented him from posting a new entry.


Aftenposten's Editor-in-chief Espen Egil Hansen.

Listen, Mark, this is serious. First you create rules that don’t distinguish between child pornography and famous war photographs. Then you practice these rules without allowing space for good judgement. Finally you even censor criticism against and a discussion about the decision – and you punish the person who dares to voice criticism.

Facebook is for the pleasure and benefit of the whole world, myself included, on a number of levels. I myself, for instance, keep in touch with my brothers via a closed group centered on our 89 year old father. Day by day we share joys and concerns.

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. Even for a major player like Aftenposten, Facebook is hard to avoid. In fact we don’t really wish to avoid you, because you are offering us a great channel for distributing our content. We want to reach out with our journalism.


Aftenposten's print front page Friday.

However, 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. This is what you and your subordinates are doing in this case.

I think you are abusing your power, and I find it hard to believe that you have thought it through thoroughly.

Let me return to the picture I mentioned by Nick Ut. The napalm-girl is by far the most iconic documentary photography from the Vietnam war. The media played a decisive role in reporting different stories about the war than the men in charge wanted them to publish. They brought about a change of attitude which played a role in ending the war. They contributed to a more open, more critical debate. This is how a democracy must function.

The free and independent media have an important task in bringing information, even including pictures, which sometimes may be unpleasant, and which the ruling elite and maybe even ordinary citizens cannot bear to see or hear, but which might be important precisely for that reason.

«If liberty means anything at all, British George Orwell wrote in the preface to Animal Farm, «it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.»

The media have a responsibility to consider publication in every single case. This may be a heavy responsibility. Each editor must weigh the pros and cons.

This right and duty, which all editors in the world have, should not be undermined by algorithms encoded in your office in California.


The original post on Aftenposten's Facebook page.

Mark, please try to envision a new war where children will be the victims of barrel bombs or nerve gas. Would you once again intercept the documentation of cruelties, just because a tiny minority might possibly be offended by images of naked children, or because a paedophile person somewhere might see the picture as pornography?

Facebook’s Mission Statement states that your objective is to “make the world more open and connected”.

In reality you are doing this in a totally superficial sense.

If you will not distinguish between child pornography and documentary photographs from a war, this will simply promote stupidity and fail to bring human beings closer to each other.

To pretend that it is possible to create common, global rules for what may and what may not be published, only throws dust into peoples’ eyes.

The last decade has shown the extent to which unpredicatable and destructive things can happen when publication refuses to take into account the context.

The controversy over the Mohammad-caricatures, which flared in late 2005 and still remains a heated debate, had unknown consequences simply because the context and the original justification for publication were ignored.

The drawings were put into entirely new contexts, censured and condemned based on allegedly universal religious rules. This resulted in large demonstrations, violence and killings – and a remaining, potent threat against the freedom of speech. Some of the persons involved must still live with police protection.

Facebook did not go global until this controversy had passed its peak. Your approach, Mark, might possibly have been to ban publication of Mohammad-drawings? If so, Facebook would in a stereotype way have stood on the side of the extreme religious forces, in opposition to the freedom of speech. You would have overruled the individual editor’s assessment. Those of us who were in the centre of events at the time had to weigh the pros and cons day by day – and make decisions based on the reality we were in.


This is the message Aftenposten received from Facebook.

It was – and remains – different in Oslo and Karachi.

The controversy over the caricatures demonstrates just how impossible and illogical it is, trying to live with universal rules for publication in a time which is multi-religious, muli-cultural and multi-everything. Every human practice differs a lot as to geography, politics, social and economic conditions.

The least Facebook should do in order to be in harmony with its time is introduce geographically differentiated guidelines and rules for publication. Furthermore, Facebook should distinguish between editors and other Facebook-users. Editors cannot live with you, Mark, as a master editor.

These measures would still only soften the problems. If Facebook has other objectives than just being as big as possible and earn as much money as possible – and this I am still convinced that you have, Mark – you should undertake a comprehensive review of the way you operate.

You are a nice channel for persons who wish to share music videos, family dinners and other experiences. On this level you are bringing people closer to each other. But if you wish to increase the real understanding between human beings, you have to offer more liberty in order to meet the entire width of cultural expressions and discuss substantial matters.

And then you have to be more accessible. 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. If you take the liberty to challenge Facebook’s rules, you will be met – as we have seen – with censorship. And if someone will protest against the censorship, he will be punished, as Tom Egeland was.

I could have continued, Mark, but I have to stop at this point. I have written this letter to you because I am worried that the world’s most important medium is limiting freedom in stead of trying to extend it, and that this occasionally happens in an authoritarian way. But I am also writing – and I hope you will understand this – because I take a positive attitude to the possibilities that Facebook has opened up. I only hope that you will utilize the possibilities in a better way.

Sincerely yours Espen Egil Hansen Editor-in-chief and CEO Aftenposten

PS. I enclose a commentary from Aftenposten’s 73 year old cartoonist Inge Grødum to the censorship practiced by Facebook. What does the algorithm say? Would it pass?

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I'm in shock from what happened! They write rules and then break them. Do not remove the pictures. It's a memory! I'm on your side, Inge!

Wath a shame!
Not good of a founder of worlds biggest platform to act like this.

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I don't think this is Mark personally, but it's definitely a lesson they need to learn from.

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Jess maby. But it is defently a thing, peaple would blame Mark at.

True they must change routines

Don't remove it, it's a historical photo.

I'm surprised and shocked that Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg should even contemplate the notion that this iconic photograph could have any sexual connotations whatsoever. What are they thinking?

Their action in this regard is so far beyond comprehension that I'm tempted to become a conspiracy theorist and wonder if there is another agenda entirely.

I for one will be posting this very picture on my Facebook page along with a link to this post and sharing it with a request to share it further.

He can ban me too if he wants. Steemit is better.

Hade @val-a !! well can we truly expect anything better from this globalist puppet " Suckerburg " Its common knowledge in some circles that Facebook was CIA psyop and completely set up and funded by them. this so called creator of Facebook is a low life bottom feeder that supports and enriched himself by serving the dark lords of the Sith, by this very action he helps to bury truth and historical memory and the principal of free speech and true meaning and necessity for people to receive information. Censorship is a tool of fascistic tyrants, always has been. Great to see this post here, this is Steem and the block chain serving its true role in the defense of democracy and the voice of the people against the matrix by use of matrix. I used to deliver
Aften Posten in Frederikstad two years ago. Got up every morning in the dark Norwegian nights to deliver it to informed Norwegians homes on a Sunday morning. Was a good and proud service i felt to their morning waffles and coffee !! great post am following !!

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I don't believe in rumors passed like this "common knowledge in some circles". I've read a lot about Mark, I think he is a pretty smart guy and worked hard building the company. This issue just shows us how even big centralized corporations can be controlled and manipulated by governments, most probably they are just trying to comply to all the rules issued by different governments where they do business and they do this very unprofessionally messing things up.

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why not ? A lot of people refuse this sort of information. They would call it alarmist and conspiracy theory !! I don not think many people realize that Facebook is nothing more than a very controlling social programming center and information mining interface set up by, well our own government !! Do you think this is not true or unfair to say ?

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The data mining came after it became successful.

You didn't make an argument. You basically just said "I know some people who think..." and expect everyone to nod their head as if its obvious.

You're making yourself look foolish.

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" The data mining came after it became successful. " well i am sorry this statement is for me naive and not true. It was inbuilt and from the very beginning, I have read many reports from government sources over the years tha state this to be the case.This was the point or argument as you put it that i was trying to put across here in my original comment. When you accept this point and accept that this web site · Facebook " is a State run tool created to have information on the whole of the human domain. That indeed it was not created to be procreative or help mankind further itself, more the reverse. Perhaps you would be less disappointed to see that yes..... they remove and censor information which does not fit their agenda of control over the " masses " What is so offensive in this point I really do not know. Perhaps my wording ok, but not the argument that i try to make I am sorry. I do not expect people to just "nod their heads ", quite the reverse actually as your rather i would say unpleasant reply here to me proves. To attack me in this way for my opinion I think is unfair and i hoped would not be the case here on the Steemit blockchain of people wanting another world!!

I am a new member just joined few days in steemit stumbled upon this new age blockchain social media platform through instagram. I have not done any first post or blog here and not sure what to but i navigate the functions and this article catch my attention straightaway in promoted articles with starting of a Dear Mark lol! I am shocked and surprised to know through this meaningful article that facebook advocate of it's mission to make the world a open space for information and bringing to all corners of world is real superficial and i hereby upvote with my first post in steemit that i agreed we should not remove this photo! The world is getting messier and insecurity with war and terrorism...shouldn't we live in peace and harmony and end wars? if the children is running away from bomb and escaping life but we are living comfortably in our homes watching and restricting any education through media which is not open and liberal. We are living in denial...may god bless all and world peace without war :)

Well you chose a pretty good place to post this! Big hope for the future here!

nice article. Welcome to me links Please upvote to me picture https://steemit.com/photography/@alex2016/look-at-my-new-adventures-with-the-camera

Hi val-a,

It is great that you posted this Facebook critique here! Thanks for that!

Can you send me the command line for inserting a picture inside the text/have text wrapped around it?

good read, thanks

Hello @val-a, this comment has nothing to do with the post, i just couldn't find you in chat. I just want to thank you for voting my post about sociology the other day. I have more post about sociology and following me would inspire me to continue posting good quality articles.

I have also posted a new article about sociology and it relevance to biological studies.
https://steemit.com/sociology/@juvyjabian/sociology-the-relevance-of-sociology-in-biological-studies

Powerful imagery and a powerful message. I'm sharing this on my Facebook page.

Es un tema que no debemos ocultar; algunas veces he leido la expresion: Dejen de publicar estas cosas,,,, por ejemplo en facebook. Solamente debo decir; Ojala y se llegue a un buen acuerdo!

Interesting! Reading and watching.

Good going. Somebody has to stand up the Mark, just another human being. up voted and following.
up vote will be appreciated on my newest joke line:
https://steemit.com/funny/@hanamana/jokes-of-the-day-the-best-two-line-jokes

dang, wished I would have seen this sooner @val-a

Hey @val-a please share in what cryptocurrencies you invested besides steemit?

P.S it's very interesting to know where smart people invest.

Hey Val-a,
Incredible journey this! Just wrote a post "the true power of steemit, building community, empowering change - thought you might appreciate some aspects of it! https://steemit.com/anarchism/@willstephens/the-true-power-of-steemit-building-community-empowering-change
As I am new here any help you can give me to get on the ladder would be for ever appreciated, have a beautiful day ;-), Thanks, Will

awesome article! don't remove the photo!

Im sorry Ned Scot (aka) @val-a ,i dont know that it was you..so sorry sir..

Wow !
Great letter in a genuine issue .
Really interesting post.
Thanks for sharing this letter here in steemit.
Hope to see your post soon @val-a .

I just want to ask you for help as many honorable popes, I created a UPVOTED COMMUNITY program, but as you can see in my post when promoting upvoted community, not having seen my post, I want to ask you to look at it even for a while my post HERE !!!

my program wants to help the minnows in steemit but see i do not have enough steem power, i just a minnow too, i have to give them 100% reward every post but my post limit is so fast so i can not upvote many post minnow other. at least I just want you to catch a glimpse of my post so minnow just as I can grow. I am very grateful to the pope like you @val-a

Steem data being centralized, only few delegates for the control of the token, what is leading you to believe that it will not be controlled too?

#whalehunting

Thanks for talking about music!

A clear case of double standards. Wasn't it Lincoln who said you can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time? FB is a juggernaut and its AI has taken control from its masters.

@val-a Facebook is so flawed and invasive. I can see it's demise coming like MySpace, which was actually better than FB.

Good day/evening to you sir. Hope you are doing well. Hope I'm not disturbing you (sorry if I am).

I am Juvy Jabian from the Philippines and is a member of the Philippine curation team name @bayanihan, which aims to give support and acknowledge Filipino content writers and producers. Filipino community is moving so fast in terms of signups but unfortunately lots of their posts were unrewarded. The Philippine curation team @bayanihan is here to support them but we don't have enough resources.

This is the reason why I'm sending you this message, asking if you can support the Filipino Community. Giving them your support means a lot to them not only in terms of earnings but for them to continue sharing their ideas and experiences in the Steemit community, especially in the continues building of different communities.

Thanks for reading my message and hope to receive a positive response from you. I'm available on discord, in case you wanted to discuss things.

Thank you and have a nice day.

A good article. I read well.