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  • Geebo 9:21 am on September 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Rohingya, VKontakte   

    Russian social media does what Facebook wouldn’t to curb hate speech 

    Russian social media does what Facebook wouldn't to curb hate speech

    The last time I posted about the persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, Facebook banned the accounts of top Myanmar officials who were allegedly inciting violence against the Rohingya. In Myanmar, Facebook is seen as the de facto internet and is used by many Myanmar nationals to spread lies and misinformation about the Muslim Rohingya minority which has led to accusations of ethnic cleansing against the Myanmar government. Facebook only took down a few offending pages after the UN accused Myanmar of genocide, war crimes, and other atrocities.

    Some of these top Myanmar officials have moved their accounts to a Russian social media network called VKontakte. Now you would think that with its negative connotations on American media that a Russian run website would allow just about any kind of hate speech on their platform but you’d be wrong. According to an interview with Fast Company, a VKontakte spokesperson said they take hate speech very seriously and have taken steps from preventing their platform being used as a tool for hate speech in Myanmar.

    We closely monitor the situation in Myanmar. We have specifically hired Burmese speaking moderators to monitor publications in communities and users pages. Our moderation team delete publications with calls for violence and ban users who host them.

    If a social media network that doesn’t nearly have the global reach of Facebook can stay on top of the situation in Myanmar then why couldn’t Facebook? It’s been posited before that Facebook needs such controversy in order to survive. Facebook is said to allow controversial content like this to proliferate on its network because it keeps people more engrossed in Facebook. This, in turn, is said to increase Facebook’s revenue through advertisements. You know, but what’s the persecution of an entire ethnicity worth when there’s money to be made?

  • Geebo 9:09 am on August 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Rohingya,   

    Facebook removes pages of top Myanmar officials 

    Facebook removes pages of top Myanmar officials

    I’ve been posting about the crisis in Myanmar for a while now. If you’re unfamiliar with the situation in the country formerly known as Burma, the majority Buddhist government has been accused of fueling hate crimes and ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslim minority, forcing close to a million Rohingya to flee Myanmar into Bangladesh. One of the ways the Myanmar government is accused of persecuting the Rohingya is by spreading false information about the Rohingya through Facebook. Facebook is considered to be the internet by many in Myanmar.

    Today, the United Nations said that top Myanmar officials should be investigated and prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. In the wake of the UN’s announcement, Facebook has removed 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account, and 52 Facebook Pages, many of which were run by some of Myanmar’s top officials. These accounts were said to have 12 million followers total.

    Facebook spokeswoman Clare Wareing said by email that the social media site took this step, “since international experts, including a UN-commissioned report, have found evidence that many of these officials committed serious human rights abuses in the country.”

    While it’s commendable that Facebook removed these accounts, why did it take a UN indictment before they decided to take action? Secondly, why does Facebook think that removing only 71 accounts will do anything to curb the violence? Ever since Facebook has been implicated in the violence against the Rohingya, they’ve only taken half-measures that have had no real effect on stopping the crisis. Now, Facebook is trying to ride the coattails of the UN by trying to make it look like they’re really doing something about it when any number of these accounts could be relaunched under other names in a matter of moments.

  • Geebo 8:59 am on August 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Rohingya   

    Facebook failing in the fight to stop ethnic cleansing 

    Facebook failing in the fight to stop ethnic cleansing

    I’ve been posting about Facebook’s role in the persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar for a little while now. If you’re unfamiliar with the situation, the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country formerly known as Burma has not only been run out of their homes by the Myanmar military, but they’ve also been the victims of hate crimes and ethnic cleansing that is fueled by the Buddhist majority. The Rohingya are considered to be the most persecuted people currently in the world today. Previously, Facebook has given non-committal answers about their efforts to help stop the human rights abuses in Myanmar, but a new report says Facebook is failing horribly to curb the tide of ethnic violence in the country.

    WARNING: The following video may contain images and language that some may find disturbing.

    A report from Reuters (via CNBC) says that since the problem of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar has been brought to Facebook’s attention, they’ve done little about it. In a country of 100 million people where roughly three-quarters of the population use Facebook as their only news source, Facebook has only employed a handful of people who speak and read Burmese. The Reuters report also found posts that incite violence against the Rohingya going back as far as six years that are still active on the platform. This further shows that Facebook’s global power has gotten way out of their own control to the detriment of humanity.

    Now some in the West may ignore this problem because it doesn’t concern us but think of this. What if this was happening in our country? What if 75% of the population was looking to drive certain ethnicities or religions from the U.S. because of what they read on Facebook. What if that turned into the mass killings of those oppressed people and the government was to look the other way? Then you look at things like the proliferation of hate groups on Facebook in the United States and you have to ask yourself how close are we to becoming like Myanmar?

  • Geebo 9:06 am on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , genocide, , Rohingya,   

    UN: Incitement to violence on Facebook rampant and unchecked 

    UN: Incitement to violence on Facebook rampant and unchecked

    We’ve previously posted about the crisis of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar here about how Facebook was allegedly being used to not only spread falsehoods about the Rohingya, but also how the social network is being used to fuel ethnic cleansing. The use of Facebook as a weapon against the Rohingya has gotten so bad in Myanmar that the United Nations has referred to Facebook as a ‘beast’.

    UN investigators looking into claims of genocide against the Rohingyan people recently said that Facebook is the de facto internet in Myanmar and that “Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar.” The investigators also said that the incitement to violence against the Rohingya on Facebook were rampant and unchecked.

    While Facebook has not commented on the UN’s recent findings, in the past their responses have been non-committal at best saying it’s hard to curb hate speech at this magnitude before throwing out figures like “it removes about 66,000 posts a week — around 288,000 monthly — on what it considers hateful rhetoric.” That’s all well and good but it doesn’t change the fact that the government and some of the populace of Myanmar are using Facebook’s platform to help carry out what some consider an ongoing genocide of a religious minority in their country. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people who have either been targets of violence or have been forced to flee from their homes. Facebook telling people how many posts they’ve removed isn’t helping and unless Facebook doesn’t take greater measures to prevent their network from being used by oppressive forces they will forever be known as a tool of genocide.

  • Geebo 10:10 am on December 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Rohingya   

    Is Facebook complicit in ethnic cleansing? 

    Is Facebook complicit in ethnic cleansing?

    If you’re not familiar with the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma, they’ve been called the most persecuted people in the world. The government of Myanmar has been accused of what essentially amounts to ethnic cleansing of trying to remove the minority Muslim Rohingya in the largely Buddhist country. Myanmar even refuses to recognize them as citizens while placing discriminatory restrictions against them.

    So how does Facebook fit into all of this? According to reports by both The Atlantic and The Daily Beast, Facebook is considered the de facto internet in Myanmar. And much like it has in America, Facebook has been used to spread false information about the Rohingya people. To compound matters, Facebook is being accused of deleting the posts of pro-Rohingya activists under the vague terms of their ‘community guidelines’. Not just in Myanamar either as a Canadian activist has said that some of his posts criticizing the Myanmar government have been deleted. In many other cases, entire Facebook accounts have been deactivated. Meanwhile, Facebook’s response to the criticism can be summarized as a dismissive ‘we’re looking into it.’

    This is yet another example of how Facebook’s power and reach has gotten out of their control and probably the most devastating example. Even if it’s not intentional, Facebook gives the impression that they’re largely unsympathetic to the plight of the Rohingya which allows this campaign of hate to continue against them unabated in a country that the Rohingya have lived in for centuries.

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