Facebook says it didn't do enough to stop violence in Myanmar
Earlier this year, the United Nations blamed Facebook for playing a cruical part in inciting violence in Myanmar. The UN investigators investigators investigating the Myanmar genocide said that the 'Facebook had turned into a beast it wasn't intended to'. And now, nearly 8 months later, Facebook in a blog post published on Monday has admitted that it didn't do enough to stop violence in the country.
Following the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, the social media giant commissioned a human rights report to assess the role of its services in the country. The report by San Francisco-based non-profit organisation Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) suggested that the platform didn't do enough to prevent its platform from being used to incite violence in the country. "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," Facebook's Product Policy Manager, Alex Warofka wrote in a blog post.
Facebook said that the BSR report provided it recommendations for improvement in five key areas and over the course of the year, the social media platform has taken active measure 'to help mitigate the adverse human rights impact and maximize the opportunities for freedom of expression, digital literacy, and economic development' in the region.
Facebook said that it working to hire additional human rights specialists to strengthen engagement with and solicit input from NGOs, academia, and international organizations to increase accountability at the platform. Additionally, it is planning to grow its team of native Myanmar language speakers reviewing its content to at least 100 by the end of 2018. Facebook said that it has already hired 99 reviewers in Myanmar.
Apart from this, the company said that it is using artificial intelligence to reduce the distribution of posts that contain graphic violence.
In August 2017, a military-led crackdown in Myanmar in response to attack by insurgents forced over 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee from the country's Rakhine state to the neighboring Bangladesh.
Since then Facebook has taken active measures to prevent its platform from being used for spreading hate content and inciting violence. In August, Facebook said it removed 13 Pages and 10 accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook in Myanmar. It also removed profiles of Myanmar military officials from Facebook.
Apart from banning Myanmar military officials from its platform, it also removed 64,000 pieces of content in Myanmar for violating its hate speech policies in the third quarter of 2018. Facebook said that this number was 63 per cent more than the total number of posts it identified in the final quarter of 2017.