United Nations officials blast Facebook over spread of Rohingya hate speech

Pauline Gross
March 14, 2018

Delivering her report to thecCouncil in Geneva, Lee said that to date accountability for the crimes committed in Rakhine state following 25 August 2017, and 9 October 2016, was elusive, adding that this must now be the focus of the worldwide community's efforts to bring long-lasting peace, stability and democratisation to Myanmar.

"[Facebook] was used to convey public messages but we know that the ultra-nationalist Buddhists have their own Facebooks and are really inciting a lot of violence and a lot of hatred against the Rohingya or other ethnic minorities", she said at a press conference on Monday, according to Reuters.

Investigators from the United Nations are now looking into a potential - the investigators recently said they are "becoming more convinced" that a genocide occurred - genocide in Myanmar that happened between October 2016 and August 2017. "As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media", Darusman told reporters. "Hate speech and incitement to violence on social media is rampant, particularly on Facebook". Roughly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since Myanmar's military launched a crackdown on Rohingya people in Myanmar's Rakhine State in August 2017.

In Myanmar, which is still effectively controlled by the military, Facebook is so prevalent that it essentially functions as the entire internet, and is the main source of information for citizens (a local digital marketing agency puts the share of the population on Facebook at about 20%).

"We take this incredibly seriously and have worked with experts in Myanmar for several years to develop safety resources and counter-speech campaigns", a Facebook spokesperson told the BBC. Lee said investigators should be based out of Bangladesh and work for three years to "collect, consolidate, map, analyse and maintain evidence of human rights violations and abuses".

Man Utd v Sevilla: Another tactical Jose masterclass needed
He needs another on Tuesday when Manchester United welcome Sevilla to Old Trafford in their second leg round of 16 clash.

Manchester United vs. Sevilla: Champions League highlights and recap
Sevilla head coach Vincenzo Montella attends a press conference at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, Monday, March 12, 2018. But the Frenchman's injury before the game turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United .

Russian exile Nikolai Glushkov found dead in London
Glushkov was due to appear at a United Kingdom court in a case where Aeroflot claimed he stole $123 million from them. Glushkov is believed to have two grown up children, Natasha and Dima, and an ex-wife who lives in Moscow.

Lee said the platform had "turned into a beast". Investigators also analyzed satellite imagery, photos and video footage.

Officials have claimed that "clearance operations" against militants responsible for attacks on police stations ended in September, but that has been disputed.

The report included details of "extensive bulldozing of former Rohingya villages with huge redevelopment projects" in construction.

The UN has said that the government has attempted to block its efforts to carry out an independent investigation.

Last month, Facebook removed the page of a Myanmar monk once dubbed the "Buddhist Bin Laden" for his incendiary posts about Muslims, the company confirmed, as it faces pressure to clamp down on hate speech. "But we expect this to be a long-term challenge".

Other reports by GizPress

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER