So a Norwegian novelist posted Nick Ut’s 1972 photograph of a naked Vietnamese 9-year-old fleeing a napalm attack, and Facebook took it down.
Neither the algorithm that flagged the photograph as inappropriate nor the moderator who reviewed that decision understood what the photograph meant when it was first published, says Jessica:
When you see an image that is not a contemporary image, it’s not implicit that you can contextualize its power, its origin, how it actually mattered at the time it was taken… It’s probably fair to that many people looking at it do not understand why it was so powerful.
Over time, iconic images lose their specificity, which is how the destruction of the Twin Towers becomes a mattress commercial.
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