Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Facebook is a "beast" of dissension and conflict

Facebook is a

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee (R) gives her report next to the Chairperson of the Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar Marzuki Darusman, during the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 12, 2018.

Over 671,000 members of the Muslim Rohingya minority have fled Myanmar's western Rakhine state for neighboring Bangladesh since August 25, many bearing tales of atrocities committed by Myanmar's military, including executions, gang rapes, and the razing of homes and villages.

The body said that social media had played a "determining role" in Myanmar by serving hate speech, reportedReuters.

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

"Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar", she told reporters, adding that Facebook had helped the impoverished country but had also been used to spread hate speech.


The U.N. human rights chief said last week he strongly suspected acts of genocide had taken place.

Dhaka - The UN's top official on preventing genocide said Tuesday efforts were made to "cleanse" the Rohingya and that returning the persecuted Muslim minority to Myanmar risked further atrocities against them.

"Despite the numerous warnings I have made of the risk of atrocity crimes, the global community has buried its head in the sand", he said adding, this has cost the Rohingya population of Myanmar their lives, their dignity and their homes. Because of that, it's been easy for ultra-nationalists to use the platform to stoke hatred against the Rohingya minority, who have been targeted by government forces, killed by the thousands and driven out of the country.

"It has ... substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissention and conflict, if you will, within the public". This content goes viral, normalizing hate speech and shaping public perception.

In the past, Al Jazeera had highlighted how Facebook was used to amplify hate speech against Rohingya Muslims, while previous year, Daily Beast reported that activists documenting the alleged ethnic cleansing in Myanmar were silenced by Facebook, as their postings were removed and their accounts suspended.

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