Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

UN investigators cite Facebook role in Myanmar crisis

Myanmar Army Grabbing Land Left by Fleeing Rohingya Amnesty International Former Rohingya village
Deanna Wagner | 14 March, 2018, 00:55

Facebook did not immediately comment on the fresh charges.

Buddhist mobs backed by Myanmar's armed forces have launched a campaign of terror against Muslim families living in Rakhine State, killing and raping members of the minority group and torching their houses, forcing hundreds of thousands of them to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

"The long-standing conflicts in Kachin and Shan states have recently intensified, leading to more reports of serious violations of global human rights and humanitarian law committed in these areas by the security forces", it said.

United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein also called last week for the creation of a new body tasked with preparing criminal indictments over atrocities committed in Myanmar.

Lee, who was banned from Myanmar a year ago after it claimed a previous report by her was biased and unfair, said she had seen evidence that Myanmar's military was continuing to target the Rohingya, razing their villages.

Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, told reporters that social media had played a "determining role" in Myanmar, reported Reuters.

"It has ... substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict, if you will, within the public".

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In an emailed statement, Facebook spokesperson Ruchika Budhraja said in part: "There is no place for hate speech or content that promotes violence on Facebook, and we work hard to keep it off our platform".

Facebook claimed it is "seriously" fighting hate speech on its network after the United Nations suggested the platform had morphed into a "beast" that helps spread vitriol against Rohingya Muslims.

Myanmar's government on Tuesday rejected two reports presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council that concluded it committed extreme human rights violations, probably amounting to crimes under worldwide law, in its repression of several minority groups, reports AP.

"I'm afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended".

U.N. Myanmar investigator Yanghee Lee said Facebook was woven into public and private life in Myanmar, where the government uses the platform to share information with citizens.

In late January Facebook removed the page of popular anti-Rohingya monk Wirathu, and previous year it regulated the use of the word "kalar" which is considered derogatory against Muslims.

"We have invested significantly in technology and local language expertise to help us swiftly remove hate content and people who repeatedly violate our hate speech policies".