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Facebook didn’t do enough to prevent Myanmar violence: Report

This article is more than 12 months old

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook on Monday said a human rights report it commissioned showed it had not done enough to prevent it from being used to incite violence in Myanmar.

The report by nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) recommended Facebook more strictly enforce its content policies, increase engagement with Myanmar officials and civil society groups and regularly release additional data about its progress in the country.

"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," said Mr Alex Warofka, a Facebook product policy manager.

BSR said Facebook must be prepared to handle a likely onslaught of misinformation during Myanmar's 2020 elections, according to the report.

A Reuters report in August this year found that Facebook failed to promptly heed warnings from organisations in Myanmar about social media posts fuelling attacks on minority groups such as the Rohingya.

In August last year, the Myanmar military led a crackdown in Rakhine State, pushing more than 700,000 Rohingya to nearby Bangladesh, according to United Nations agencies.

Facebook in August this year removed some Myanmar military officials to prevent the spread of "hate and misinformation", for the first time banning military or political leaders.

It said it has begun correcting shortcomings. It now has 99 Myanmar language specialists reviewing potentially questionable content.

In the third quarter, it "took action" on about 64,000 pieces of content that violated its hate speech policies. About 63 per cent were found by automated software, up from 52 per cent in the prior quarter. - REUTERS

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