Facebook Won’t Censor Graphic Images If Deemed ‘Newsworthy’

AP Photo/Nick Ut
AP Photo/Nick Ut

Following the reversal of its controversial decision to censor an iconic photo from the Vietnam War, Facebook has changed its policy towards the posting of graphic content, now allowing it on the site so long as it is deemed “newsworthy.”

In a Facebook blog posts, the company’s VP of global public policy confirmed that “in the weeks ahead, we’re going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest — even if they might otherwise violate our standards.”

It follows the widespread criticism of the company to censor the iconic yet haunting photo of the napalm attack in Vietnam, citing a violation of their community standards due to nudity, a decision which it later reversed, saying that “the value of permitting sharing outweighs the value of protecting the community by removal.”

However, the potential danger to Facebook’s plans is that they will be required to judge what is newsworthy and what is not. The company has previously been accused of distorting its trending topics section to suppress stories from conservative outlets such as Breitbart whilst amplifying stories surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.

Just last week it was revealed that Facebook employees threatened to quit the organisation following Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to censor comments made by Donald Trump about Muslims.

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