Facebook’s algorithm pushes the misinformation that then converts to violence and the Rohingyas have had the brunt of it.
The complaint was lodged in a California Court, which included sentences like, “The undeniable reality is that Facebook’s growth, fueled by hate, division, and misinformation, has left hundreds of thousands of devastated Rohingya lives in its wake.”
More excerpts read, “Facebook is like a robot programmed with a singular mission: to grow.” The class-action lawsuit also read that Facebook was willing to “willing to trade the lives of the Rohingya people for better market penetration in a small country in south-east Asia.”
Facebook has agreed previously that the platform was used to incite violence in the region. Usage of Facebook in Myanmar surmounts to 18 million people in there having access to news and more often than not, the only way to procure news.
In 2017, Myanmar launched an offensive against the Rohingyas in the Rakhine state, which saw over 700,000 fleeing to Bangladesh and several thousand more being killed.
This was not even the first time that Facebook mandated inflammatory posts that created violence in the region. Back in 2014, a fake online story about a Muslim man raping a Buddhist woman went viral.
Sadly, that sparked outrage and violence in the second city of Mandalay. This is exactly the type of content that Facebook feeds and has lacked in the aspect of fact-checkers and content removal upon promotion of hate speech.
In this case, Facebook was used to amplify hate speech against the Rohingya people. Moreover, the firm “takes appropriate and timely action”, despite charities and the media warning them about the same. The legal complaint included certain posts after an investigation by Reuters, which stated “We must fight them the way Hitler did the Jews”. This is the exact problem at hand.
Under US law, Facebook is protected from liability over content posted by users. However, Myanmar has no such laws and in all probability will be taken as jurisprudence, thereby removing the effective protection.
The UN has also accused Facebook that they have been slow and ineffective in its response to spreading hate online. In Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the civilian government might be facing life in prison sentence for incitement and breaking COVID rules in her country.
Now, whether the Rohingyas win or not, they sure did make a bold statement by locking horns with Facebook while being ousted from their own home country. Only time will tell us what becomes of the outcome.
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This post is tagged under: Facebook, meta, Mark Zuckerberg, Rohingyas, Myanmar, United Nations, Bangladesh, Lawsuit, International Justice, genocide