Rohingya refugees from Myanmar sue Facebook for $150 billion

Example for a hate posting by Myanmar Facebook users, referring to Rohingya as “Bengali” by using the derogatory term “kalar.”

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are suing Facebook’s parent organisation Meta Platforms for as much as $150 billion over allegations that the social media company did not take action against anti-Rohingya hate speech that contributed to violence, various media reported on December 7.

A US class-action complaint was filed in California on the previous day by law firms Edelson and Fields and based its accusations on Facebook’s alleged failures to supervise content which contributed to real-world violence faced by the Rohingya community in Myanmar.

Facebook in earlier statements acknowledged that it was “too slow to prevent misinformation and hate” in this case and has said it has since taken steps to crack down on platform abuses in the region, including banning Myanmar’s military from Facebook and Instagram after the February 1 coup.

Uncontrolled hate postings

In 2018, UN human rights investigators said the use of Facebook had played a key role in spreading hate postings that invoked violence against Rohingya in Myanmar and was tolerated on Facebook’s platform despite the company’s rules specifically prohibit attacking ethnic groups with “violent or dehumanising speech.”

But it is unclear whether the lawsuit will end in favour of the plaintiffs.

Facebook has said it is protected from liability over content posted by users by a US Internet law known as Section 230, which mandates that online platforms are not liable for content posted by third parties.

However, the Rohingya lawyers said they would seek to apply Myanmar law to the claims if Section 230 is raised as a defense.

Military crackdown on Rohingya in 2017

More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August 2017 after a military crackdown that refugees said included mass killings and rape. Rights groups documented killings of civilians and burning of villages.

Myanmar authorities said they were “battling an insurgency” and denied carrying out systematic atrocities.

The International Criminal Court has opened a case into the accusations of crimes in the region. In September, a US federal judge ordered Facebook to release records of accounts connected to anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar that the social media giant had shut down.



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[caption id="attachment_37879" align="alignleft" width="300"] Example for a hate posting by Myanmar Facebook users, referring to Rohingya as “Bengali” by using the derogatory term “kalar."[/caption] Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are suing Facebook’s parent organisation Meta Platforms for as much as $150 billion over allegations that the social media company did not take action against anti-Rohingya hate speech that contributed to violence, various media reported on December 7. A US class-action complaint was filed in California on the previous day by law firms Edelson and Fields and based its accusations on Facebook’s alleged failures to supervise content which contributed to real-world violence...

Example for a hate posting by Myanmar Facebook users, referring to Rohingya as “Bengali” by using the derogatory term “kalar.”

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are suing Facebook’s parent organisation Meta Platforms for as much as $150 billion over allegations that the social media company did not take action against anti-Rohingya hate speech that contributed to violence, various media reported on December 7.

A US class-action complaint was filed in California on the previous day by law firms Edelson and Fields and based its accusations on Facebook’s alleged failures to supervise content which contributed to real-world violence faced by the Rohingya community in Myanmar.

Facebook in earlier statements acknowledged that it was “too slow to prevent misinformation and hate” in this case and has said it has since taken steps to crack down on platform abuses in the region, including banning Myanmar’s military from Facebook and Instagram after the February 1 coup.

Uncontrolled hate postings

In 2018, UN human rights investigators said the use of Facebook had played a key role in spreading hate postings that invoked violence against Rohingya in Myanmar and was tolerated on Facebook’s platform despite the company’s rules specifically prohibit attacking ethnic groups with “violent or dehumanising speech.”

But it is unclear whether the lawsuit will end in favour of the plaintiffs.

Facebook has said it is protected from liability over content posted by users by a US Internet law known as Section 230, which mandates that online platforms are not liable for content posted by third parties.

However, the Rohingya lawyers said they would seek to apply Myanmar law to the claims if Section 230 is raised as a defense.

Military crackdown on Rohingya in 2017

More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August 2017 after a military crackdown that refugees said included mass killings and rape. Rights groups documented killings of civilians and burning of villages.

Myanmar authorities said they were “battling an insurgency” and denied carrying out systematic atrocities.

The International Criminal Court has opened a case into the accusations of crimes in the region. In September, a US federal judge ordered Facebook to release records of accounts connected to anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar that the social media giant had shut down.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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