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

    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 9:06 am on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , genocide, , , United Nations   

    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.

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