Facebook didn't do enough to prevent "offline violence" in Myanmar

November, 2018

Facebook said on November 5 that an independent report it commissioned found the company hasn't always done enough to prevent its platform from being used to spread hate speech that has fueled deadly violence in Myanmar.

The report, conducted by the nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility, also offered Facebook recommendations for helping improve human rights in the country, including stricter enforcement of content policies and regular publishing of data related to human rights violations.

"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," Alex Warofka, Facebook product policy manager, wrote in a blog post Monday. "We agree that we can and should do more."

The report comes amid reports of widespread genocide being committed by the military in Myanmar. In March, United Nations human rights experts investigating violence in the country concluded that Facebook played a "determining role" in the crisis, in which hundreds of thousands Rohingya Muslims have fled the country.

Facebook said it's using the social-listening tool CrowdTangle to analyze potentially harmful content and understand how it spreads in Myanmar. The company is also using artificial intelligence to identify and prevent the spread of posts that contain graphic violence or dehumanizing comments.

Preserving and sharing data that can be used to help evaluate human rights violations was also suggested, especially data specific to the situation in Myanmar so the international community can better evaluate the company's enforcement efforts.

Source: CBS