Facebook and Human Rights Impact in Myanmar

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Areen Zahra
IT professional and a passionate writer who enjoys putting my love of technology into words for a general audience.

Just around the corner of the US midterm elections, the social media giant Facebook woke up to the realization that it somehow did not do justice with the social responsibilities it had!

Facebook authorized a report that explicitly declares that Facebook took insufficient measures to stop offline violence in Myanmar!

Facebook issued a report that was completed by the nonprofit organization, Business for Social Responsibility. This report has brought out all the factual details that every one of us was looking for. The report highlights that Facebook, being a giant social media platform, with millions of users across the world, has some big responsibilities. The platform is the first one of its kind that supports the freedom of speech.

Also read: Facebook faces a decline

However, this freedom of speech over Facebook is violated for various political reasons. The offline violence and misinformation that spreads among Facebook users always have a huge impact.

Adding value to this the Facebook’s product policy manager Alex Warofka says,

“The report concludes that, prior to this year, we weren’t doing enough to help prevent our platform from being used to foment division and incite offline violence. We agree that we can and should do more, as Facebook is the internet to many.”

The report allegedly mentions that,

“A minority of users is seeking to use Facebook as a platform to undermine democracy and incite offline violence, including serious crimes under international law; for example, the Report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar describes how Facebook has been used by bad actors to spread anti-Muslim, anti-Rohingya, and anti-activist sentiment.”

Also, the report mentions few incidents of misinformation and hate speech by army officials against the Muslims of Rohingya. Facebook, in that case, identified all such pages and blocked them.

“Facebook’s action against senior military officials in August 2018 also increased the risks associated with locating Facebook staff in Myanmar, at least in the near term, and it is unclear whether Facebook could have acted against the military if Facebook staff had been present in Myanmar,” the report entails.

Facebook has already taken up some recommendations mentioned in the report. These include devising a human rights policy and ensuring that it is in effect. Also, to ensure the enforcement of community standards to help prevent any such incident in the future.

Elections 2020 for Myanmar are just around the corner and we hope that Facebook compensates at their earliest.

We appreciate the realization that has just kicked in! What do you think?

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