(Reuters) A photo of French President Francois Hollande with a cheesy grin has sparked a censorship debate after it was scrubbed by the Agence France Presse.

Coined by the Times of London as the “village idiot photo,” AFP initially posted the picture on its website as available for downloading but later issued a “mandatory kill” notice, meaning the photo must not be used, the Telegraph reported.

AFP — which reportedly gets almost half of its income from government contracts — insisted the editorial decision was not brought on by pressure from the Elysée Palace.

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