Rohingya sue Facebook, now known as Meta, accusing Facebook to allow the spread of hate speech against them.
Rohingya refugees have demanded $150 billion as compensation over the allegations. They claimed meta to be the reason behind the violence against the minority.
According to the refugees, social media giant didn’t take any action against anyone spreading the hate speech. Reuters tried reaching to Myanmar junta spokesperson to seek comment over the legal action against Meta. The spokesperson didn’t comment over the issue and the calls remained unanswered.
Meta’s statement over the allegation
Meta had previously mentioned that it was “too slow to prevent misinformation and hate in Myanmar”.
As Rohingya sue Facebook, a Facebook spokesperson says: “We’re appalled by the crimes committed against the Rohingya people in Myanmar. We’ve built a dedicated team of Burmese speakers, banned the Tatmadaw (Myanmar military), disrupted networks manipulating public debate and taken action on harmful misinformation to help keep people safe. We’ve also invested in Burmese-language technology to reduce the prevalence of violating content.”
The reason behind communal violence in Myanmar
The Rakhine majority (Buddhist people) never favoured the presence of Rohingyas, as they consider them Muslim people from different country. On the other hand, Rohingya consider themselves as the part of Myanmar.
Rohingyas have always complained and claimed persecution by the state.
The communal violence began when a gold shop owner (Muslim) along with 2 employees assaulted Buddhist customers. The argument was just over a golden hairpin that resulted in the violence.
After this the conflicts rose between Buddhists and Muslims and everyday a new incident took place.
It was in the year 2013, April, when the Buddhist and Muslim detainees clashed in Indonesia during a refugee camp. The reason behind the riots was sexual harassment by the Rakhine inmates against female Rohingya inmates.
Several anti-Muslim riots flared up across Myanmar in various cities. As the Buddhist nationalist 969 Movement rose, the violence took place. The Buddhist nationalist 969 Movement was led by Sayadaw U Wirathu.
In August 2017, around 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar after a military crackdown. Several deaths and rapes took place during this time.
UN human rights investigators commented in 2018 that Facebook is the reason behind the spread of hate speech due to which the violence fuelled.
In the same year, 1,000 posts, images and comments were found against the Muslims and Rohingya Muslims on Facebook. Muslims were called as maggots, rapists, and dogs, that should be fed to pigs.
US federal ordered Meta to expose the accounts who are spreading the hate speech against Rohingya Muslims.
The new class-action lawsuit references claim, “that the company does not police abusive content in countries where such speech is likely to cause the most harm.”
The complaint cites all the recent reports along with the Reuters report. The Reuters report said that Myanmar used fake accounts on Meta to get in what is widely known in the military as ‘information combat.