Facebook bans famous war photo because the screaming, napalmed child's genitals are offensive

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/09/facebook-bans-famous-war-photo.html



Well… it’s their site, you have to follow their rules.

I get it - it’s an important historical photo. What if an near identical photo was posted, say some kid getting out of the tub. Near identical image, near identical subject (the naked child), completely different context.

The problem is Facebook has how many millions of users? The pics posted is probably in the billions. How do you police such images? Certainly one wouldn’t want child porn on the site. Certainly even policing “innocent” child nudity is probably prudent. But it takes a person to make such judgement calls on what is and isn’t appropriate - which results in 1) time and money on facebooks end, and 2) inconsistent rulings on what is and is not allowable.

By having this blanket policy they are more or less protecting themselves from illegal images as well as exposing users to unwanted images.

And if this guy was a reporter, you know, you could post it on the newspaper site. Or even post a cropped photo on face book that links to a full article on the news site.


IIRC, around 25 years ago some guy in prison had his sentence extended because someone sent him pornography – i.e. a (probably political) magazine with this photo.


Would it be less offensive if they used the Banksy version?


Why is the USA such a country of infantile people

Who are these people who would rather their child learn how to cut a woman into pieces, as long as none of the naughty bits show that is!


[quote=“Mister44, post:3, topic:85010”]I get it - it’s an important historical photo. What if an near identical photo was posted, say some kid getting out of the tub. Near identical image, near identical subject (the naked child), completely different context.[/quote]I’m not questioning that it’s an important historical photo – certainly, this is hardly the first time I’ve seen it – and that napalming villages is bad. But if you provide it without context, is there really anything to suggest it’s much more than just an unhappy naked child in a street? (Well, there are uniformed soldiers in the background, but they’re pretty much just standing there.)


You’re correct: context is important. And obviously the context is different in this case. I don’t think there’s a lot of prurient images of young girls getting out of bathtubs with napalm burns over most of their bodies. This is just Facebook divesting themselves of any responsibilities and being the Big Brother they want to be.


I loathe Facebook, but literally everyone I know is on it, and uses it. No seriously viable alternatives have emerged yet.


When corporations gain too much market dominance, they can leverage their position to price gouge and prevent competition. So we have anti-trust law which prohibits companies from doing that. Practices that might be OK for smaller businesses are actually illegal for one with overwhelming market dominance. Anti-trust law will go so far as to force the dismantling of private businesses to protect the free market.

Why don’t we have anti-trust law for protecting free speech?


If only the picture was taken after the genitals burned off we could look at it without squeamishness.

hmm, I may be in a worse mood than usual.


Having limits on COC isn’t limiting free speech.

I could type a half dozen things right now and have a dragon eat them. A few choice ones will get me banned for a week. A few really bad ones and I could get permabanned. Is BB repressing my speech?


This case is a microcosm of the blind spot in laissez faire markets. Anyone can make a blog or website for a cost approaching 0. We all could put what we want on those sites. But the 800lb gorillas of Google and Facebook are impossible to challenge in any effective way, unless you have about a Billion dollars in venture capital.

With free tools like Diaspora and Linux and Let’s Encrypt and low cost hosting from the likes of AWS, we all could have our own Facebooks, (with blackjack and hookers!) But getting people to go to these sites is very difficult, because they’d have to convince their friends, who’d have to convince their friends and so on.

So the 800 lb gorillas get to say what we can post and share. Who gets to the top of the page and what is hidden from easy view. Because they have the money, user base and infrastructure.


This is what happens when one company has a billion content serfs. This is why AI is such a priority to companies with a billion content serfs. This is how society will be shaped and edited for a company with a billion content serfs under the watchful guidance of AI. This is why you should drop AI serf-herding companies from your daily musings. We already have BB, what else do we need?


I wanna be where the people are. I wanna see, wanna see them posting…


No, because BB doesn’t have a defacto monopoly on one of the most popular modes of communication in our society. Monopolies impart a unique form of unaccountable power, and (in principle) anti-trust law says nobody is allowed to have that economic power. Only fanatical ancaps think that’s unreasonable, so why should we think it unreasonable to reign in unaccountable media power the same way?

You can do whatever you want in your sandbox, as long as it’s one among many. If you expand your sandbox to encompass a whole society, it’s not yours anymore.




… liking, walking around, with those, what do they call them, miiiiice?

Diaspora you don’t get too far, Facebook’s required for seeing, friends, scrolling along down a, what’s the word, screen!

Up where they click, up where they like, up where they spend all day with their friends, clicking icons, wish I could be, part of Facebook!


The twisted beautiful irony is millions of people will become aware of this image for the first time because of the publicity from the facebook ban.


58 posts were merged into an existing topic: Is it hypocritical for free speech advocates to moderate comments on their own site?