This hate speech has fueled the Burmese army's march towards genocide of the Rohingya. Demand that Facebook disclose what it will do to ensure that it never lets its platform to be used again for campaigns of hate speech.
Alan Davis, an analyst from the Institute for War and Peace Reporting who led a two-year study of hate speech in Burma (Myanmar), told The Guardian (UK) that, in the months before the Burmese army's offensive against the Rohingya in August 2017, he noticed posts on Facebook becoming “more organised and odious, and more militarised”
According to the Guardian, his research team encountered fabricated stories stating that “mosques in Yangon are stockpiling weapons in an attempt to blow up various Buddhist pagodas and Shwedagon pagoda”, the most sacred Buddhist site in Yangon in a smear campaign against Muslims. These pages also featured posts calling Rohingya the derogatory term “kalars” and “Bengali terrorists”. Signs denoting “Muslim-free” areas were shared more than 11,000 times.
In a recent report on the Rohingya crisis, Marzuki Darusman, head of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, said Facebook “substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict” in Burma. “Hate speech is certainly of course a part of that,” Darusman said. “As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media.”
In an interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has acknowledged Facebook’s role in fueling and inciting anti-Muslim and anti-Rohingya sentiment. “The Myanmar issues have, I think, gotten a lot of focus inside the company,” Zuckerberg told Vox. “And they’re real issues and we take this really seriously.”
Together, we can successfully demand that Facebook never lets its platform to be used again for campaigns of hate speech.
(c) 2018 International Campaign for the Rohingya