Censorship, Vietnam and the Politics of Gore

not even the dead

Today, revelations have emerged that Facebook censored famous image ‘The Terror of War’ – otherwise known as ‘Napalm Girl’ – citing its policy of not allowing nude imagery. This move, called out by the Norwegian journalists who first posted the image, reminds me of attempts to censor brutal images from the Vietnam War during the conflict itself. These images were seen as particularly powerful by anti-war activists, while they were condemned as pornographic by the same governments who were inflicting the violence pictured. Recently, plenty of scholars have begun writing on the uses of images of suffering and violence by humanitarian organisations, so I have posted a condensed section of one of the chapters of my book Transnational Protest, Australia and the 1960s: Global Radicals that deals with this question in Australia, and the troubled relationship activists had with what has been termed ‘the politics of gore’.

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Eric Norden’s American Atrocities in Vietnam

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