UN probe ties Face­book to spread­ing hate in Myan­mar cri­sis

Tehran Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Face­book played a role in spread­ing hate speech in Myan­mar, ac­cord­ing to UN hu­man rights ex­perts in­ves­ti­gat­ing a pos­si­ble geno­cide there.

Marzuki Darus­man, chair­man of the UN Fact-Find­ing Mis­sion on Myan­mar, said so­cial me­dia has played a “de­ter­min­ing role” in the cri­sis, in which hun­dreds of thou­sands Ro­hingya Mus­lims have fled the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to Reuters.

“It has ... sub­stan­tively con­trib­uted to the level of ac­ri­mony and dis­sen­sion and con­flict, if you will, within the pub­lic. Hate speech is cer­tainly of course a part of that. As far as the Myan­mar sit­u­a­tion is con­cerned, so­cial me­dia is Face­book, and Face­book is so­cial me­dia,” he said.

More than 650,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lims have fled Myan­mar’s Rakhine state since rebel at­tacks sparked a mil­i­tary back­lash last Au­gust. Many refugees have de­scribed ex­e­cu­tions and rapes by Myan­mar se­cu­rity forces.

Face­book has ad­mit­ted the dif­fi­culty it faces in tack­ling hate speech. The world’s most pop­u­lar so­cial net­work said last year it re­moves about 66,000 posts a week -around 288,000 monthly -- on what it con­sid­ers hate­ful rhetoric.

Face­book de­fines hate speech as at­tacks on peo­ple based on their race, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion and other “pro­tected char­ac­ter­is­tics,” say­ing it de­pends heav­ily on its now 2 bil­lion users to re­port any hate speech they en­counter. Work­ers re­view the posts and de­cide whether to take them down.

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