Daily Archives: September 10, 2016

Facebook backs down from ‘Napalm Girl’ censorship

Facebook backs down from ‘Napalm Girl’ censorship


Facebook backtracked Friday on a decision to censor an iconic Vietnam War photo of a naked girl escaping a napalm bombing, after its block on the historic image sparked outrage.

The online giant stopped short of apologizing, saying the image had been flagged for violating standards regarding inappropriate posts at the world’s leading social network.

“An image of a naked child would normally be presumed to violate our Community Standards, and in some countries might even qualify as child pornography,” Facebook said in a statement.

“In this case, we recognize the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time.”

Taken by photographer Nick Ut Cong Huynh for the Associated Press, the 1972 picture of a naked Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack is considered one of the war’s defining images. It was honored with the Pulitzer Prize.

An active social media user, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg defied Facebook early Friday by posting the photograph, helping to bring the weekslong controversy to a head.

Her post was taken down several hours later, deleted by Facebook, she said.
After Facebook reversed position on the image, Solberg told the BBC she was a “happy prime minister.”

“It shows that using social media can make (a) political change even in social media.”

Editing history 

Solberg refused to back down, re-posting the photo on her Facebook page, along with several other iconic pictures with sections blacked out, in an attempt to illustrate the absurdity of censoring historic images.

“What Facebook is doing by deleting photos like this, as good as their intentions are, is to edit our common history,” she wrote in a post.

Solberg had shared the picture at Facebook in the name of freedom of expression amid a brewing debate in Norway.

The row began several weeks ago after Norwegian author Tom Egeland published a post about war photos, illustrated by the picture. Facebook promptly deleted it.
Egeland expressed delight in a Twitter message written in Norwegian after the Facebook about-face.

“Now I’m happy!” the tweet read in part.

“To all who said ‘there’s no point,’ yes there is a point.”

Norwegians had risen to his defense by publishing the photo, posts that Facebook also deleted in line with its rules barring nudity.

The affair took on such proportions that the Norwegian Press Federation asked the country’s powerful pension fund, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, to examine whether the censorship practice was in line with its ethical criteria for investments.

At the end of 2015, the fund owned 0.52 percent of Facebook.

Traditional media also voiced concern about the moves by Facebook, which has become a key source of news and information for hundreds of millions of people.

On Friday, Norway’s biggest daily Aftenposten dedicated the front page of its print edition to the photo, and published a two-page open letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Tweaking the process 

Facebook said it reversed course after the outcry from its members and that is was examining how its standards were applied in the situation.

“Because of its status as an iconic image of historical importance, the value of permitting sharing outweighs the value of protecting the community by removal,” California-based Facebook said of the decision to reinstate posts of the image.

Facebook said it was also modifying its review mechanisms to prevent the image from being removed in future, but that process could take some time.

“The photo should be available for sharing in the coming days,” Facebook said.
“We will be engaging with publishers and other members of our global community on these important questions going forward.”

This is not the first time Facebook has been accused of a lack of sensitivity in how it enforces its rules on appropriate content. The company has in the past blocked seminal artworks because they featured nudity.

Facebook is due to go on trial in France, where a schoolteacher accused it of censorship for blocking his account after he posted a photo of a painting by 19th-century master Gustave Courbet called “L’Origine du monde” (The Origin of the World) that depicts a woman’s vagina.

And earlier this year, a Danish lawmaker also complained that Facebook had removed her picture of the Copenhagen statue of the Little Mermaid because of its nudity rules.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) depicted Facebook’s censorship of the Vietnam War photo as a grave violation of freedom of information.

“The ‘decency’ rules used by this social network are so restrictive that they trample on the freedom to inform,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said in a statement.

“We call on Facebook to add respect for the journalistic values of photos to these rules, and to ensure that their rules are never more severe than national legislations.”


My Chakra today no.1 

My Chakra today no.1

My Duck today 

My Duck today

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve


The natural world is so full of wonder. Here’s a pair of longhorn steers-head (Dicentra uniflora) around the 1000 mile mark near Dorothy Lake Pass in Northern Yosemite.Photo by: Danielle Kelley

It’s a perfect day for a kayak on Silver Lake!

It’s a perfect day for a kayak on Silver Lake!

Dupa mure, in Breaza de Făgăraş

Dupa mure, in Breaza de Făgăraş

Mănăstirea Mraconia, Mehedinți

Mănăstirea Mraconia, Mehedinți

Un apus. București, septembrie 2016. Foto: Octav Dragan

Un apus. București, septembrie 2016. Foto: Octav Dragan

Botanists’ ‘holy grail’ blooms near Antioch

Botanists’ ‘holy grail’ blooms near Antioch

A jolt of adrenaline is coursing through the normally placid botany community in the East Bay after the discovery of a prodigious patch of extremely rare wildflowers that, until a few years ago, were thought to be extinct.
The half-acre cluster of critically endangered Mount Diablo buckwheat was spotted at the 6,096-acre Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, near Antioch, by two botanists who saw a pink hue of growth on rolling hills that normally would be covered with California’s signature golden grasslands.

Remedios Varo “Phenomenon”

Remedios Varo “Phenomenon”

Vertical view of Manhattan, New York, 1944. Photograph by Andreas Feininger.

Vertical view of Manhattan, New York, 1944. Photograph by Andreas Feininger.


Venice, Tintoretto house.Cannaregio, 3399 Fondamenta dei Mori.

San Pietro di Cadore, Belluno, Dolomiti, Veneto, Italia

San Pietro di Cadore, Belluno, Dolomiti, Veneto, Italia

Louis and Florence Shotridge (Situwuka and Katkwachsnea). Tlingit (their clothes aren’t accurate). 1912. Source – Library of Congress.

Louis and Florence Shotridge (Situwuka and Katkwachsnea). Tlingit (their clothes aren’t accurate). 1912. Source – Library of Congress.

The perfect campsite at Tioga Lake yesterday!

The perfect campsite at Tioga Lake yesterday!

Colorado Plateau, USA

Colorado Plateau, USA

Those kids must have been tough!

I saw this photo yesterday forgot where. School playground ca. 1900. Those kids must have been tough! Imagine being the playground supervisor of these maniacs!

Today’s Holiday:La Partita a Scacchi Viventi (Living Chess Game)

Today’s Holiday:
La Partita a Scacchi Viventi (Living Chess Game)

Every two years, the main piazza in Marostica, Italy, is transformed into a giant chessboard. More than 500 townspeople wearing elaborate medieval costumes portray chessmen and act out a living game. Thousands of spectators watch from bleachers, cheering loudly when a castle is lost and moaning when there is an impending checkmate. The local players begin rehearsing in March; some start out as pawns and over the years work their way up to become knights, kings, and queens. The moves in the game are spoken in an ancient dialect, including the final scácco matto! (checkmate).: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday:Thomas Sydenham (1624)

Today’s Birthday:
Thomas Sydenham (1624)

Known as “the English Hippocrates,” Sydenham was a physician who advocated direct observation instead of theorizing to determine the nature of disease. His conceptions of the causes and treatments of epidemics and his classic descriptions of gout, smallpox, malaria, and other maladies established him as a founder of modern clinical medicine and epidemiology. He introduced laudanum as a medication, helped popularize the use of quinine in treating malaria, and described what “dancing” disease?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History:The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh (1547)

This Day in History:
The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh (1547)

The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh was part of the War of Rough Wooing, the ruthless war launched by Henry VIII against Scotland to force a marriage between Mary Queen of Scots and his son, the future Edward VI. The first “modern” battle to be fought in the British Isles and the last pitched battle between the English and Scottish royal armies, it resulted in a catastrophic defeat for the Scots, who came to call it Black Saturday. After the battle, what happened to the infant Queen Mary?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day:Charles Dickens

Quote of the Day:
Charles Dickens

To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day:Infrasound

Article of the Day:

Long thought to cause feelings of fear or awe, infrasound is sound that is able to cover long distances with little dissipation at a frequency too low to be detected by the human ear. It is created by natural phenomena such as ocean waves and earthquakes and can be artificially produced by explosions or machines. Infrasound is used by some animals to communicate over long distances and by predators to “freeze” their prey. Why do some scientists believe infrasound is related to ghost sightings?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day:commissariat

Word of the Day:

Definition: (noun) A stock or supply of foods.
Synonyms: provisions, viands, victuals, provender
Usage: During the war with Spain he was employed in the commissariat of the French army, and made a fortune.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch