The Facebook owner has failed to take action on hate speech against the Rohingya despite repeated warnings, the human rights group said.
A prominent human rights group said Meta, the owner of Facebook, owes the Rohingya to reparation for the platform’s role in fueling violence against the Muslim minority in Myanmar.
Amnesty International issued a call for compensation on Thursday after accusing Meta of inaction despite activists repeatedly warning the company about the impact of anti-Rohingya hate speech on the background. their Facebook platform.
The group said Myanmar activists raised concerns about the issue with Meta as early as 2012, about five years before the country’s military launched a campaign of mass murder and rape that displaced more than 700,000 Rohingya. in neighboring Bangladesh.
The brutal crackdown is now the subject of a genocide investigation at the International Court of Justice, while in March this year, the United States officially declared the actions of the military a crime of genocide.
“In the months and years leading up to the atrocities, Facebook’s algorithms have fueled a storm of hatred against the Rohingya people,” said Agnes Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International. part of the violence in the real world,” said Agnes Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International.
“While the Myanmar military is committing crimes against humanity against the Rohingya, Meta is profiting from the chamber of hatred generated by its hate spiral algorithms,” she said in a statement. declare. “Meta has to be taken into account. The company is now responsible for compensating all those who have suffered the violent consequences of their reckless actions.”
There was no immediate comment from Meta.
Investigators from the United Nations previously said Facebook played “Role Defined” in promoting violence against the Rohingya.
Marzuki Darusman, President of the United Nations’ Independent International Truth-Seeking Mission on Myanmar, told reporters in 2018. “Basically, Facebook has” contributed to the level of acrimony. and conflict”. , of course, part of that. As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, the social network is Facebook, and Facebook is the social network”.
Rohingya refugees last December sue Meta in the US for $150 billion for not making hate speech against ethnic minorities.
At the time, a Meta spokesman said the company was “appalled by the crimes against the Rohingya people in Myanmar” and said it had taken several steps to tackle hate speech on the platform. . These include banning the Myanmar military from joining the platform and building a dedicated team of Burmese speakers to moderate content on the platform.
Amnesty said these measures were not enough.
In addition to fixing the “terrible harm” that Meta has caused, Amnesty said the company also had to make “fundamental changes” to its algorithms, “all of which actively amplify and analyze distribute content that incites violence and discrimination” and distributes it “directly to those most likely to act upon such incitement”.
“Facebook has to pay,” Amnesty quoted Showkutara, a 22-year-old Rohingya woman as saying. “If they don’t, we will go to every court in the world. We will never give up in our struggle.”