Myanmar groups say Facebook hasn’t controlled hate speech

Source: Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) — Civil society and rights groups in Myanmar said Facebook has failed to adequately act against online hate speech that incites violence against the country’s Muslim minorities, neglecting to effectively enforce its own rules.

 

In an open letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the digital innovation lab Phandeeyar and five other groups challenged Zuckerberg’s recent public contention that the social media platform had effectively combated hate speech related to the ongoing persecution of Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar.

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The letter dated Thursday charged that Facebook did not have enough in-house Myanmar-language monitors and said it was difficult to quickly bring Facebook’s attention to escalating situations that could trigger bloodshed. It also said Facebook has been hesitant to engage with Myanmar organizations to address the hate speech problem systematically and that the company had lacked transparency in responding to the issue.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya have to Bangladesh fled from Myanmar’s west, where security forces and mobs have been conducting a brutal crackdown that the UN and others have described as ethnic cleansing.

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