Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

United Nations says Facebook has 'turned into a beast' in violence-plagued Myanmar

United Nations says Facebook has 'turned into a beast' in violence-plagued Myanmar

The government of Sri Lanka also sought to block access to Facebook and two other of its social services, WhatsApp and Instagram, in an attempt to stem mob violence against its local Muslim minority - citing inflammatory social media posts, according to TechCrunch.

Over 671,000 members of the Muslim Rohingya minority have fled Myanmar's western Rakhine state for neighboring Bangladesh since August 25, many bearing tales of atrocities committed by Myanmar's military, including executions, gang rapes, and the razing of homes and villages.

"Regarding the Myanmar military, we are receiving credible reports of indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary deprivation of liberty, enforced disappearances, destruction of property and pillage, torture and inhuman treatment, rape and other forms of sexual violence, forced labor, and the recruitment of children into armed forces", the report said.

Facebook is a major news source for people in Myanmar, where it has been used as a platform to stir up public outrage against the Rohingya.

The U.N. Human Rights Council heard both reports on Monday: one from the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, and another from Yanghee Lee, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar.

"It has. substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict, if you will, within the public", Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the fact-finding mission, told reporters. This content goes viral, normalizing hate speech and shaping public perception.

He said: "What I have heard and witnessed in Cox's Bazaar is a human tragedy with the fingerprints of the Myanmar government and of the global community".

Myanmar argues that its "clearance operation" is a counter-insurgency in response to deadly attacks by Rohingya militants, and last week demanded the United Nations provide "clear evidence" of atrocities against the Rohingya.

Facebook has always been criticised for its role in the Rohingya crisis, an assessment now underscored by comments by United Nations investigators. The UN is investigatinga potential genocide in the nation.

The report was based on information gathered from a series of missions to Bangladesh, Malaysia and Thailand, where teams of investigators conducted over 600 in-depth interviews with victims and witnesses of reported human rights violations and abuses. Dieng said Myanmar had made "no genuine efforts" to ensure those who returned were guaranteed freedom and safety.

Facebook apparently took no action, however.

Second, there must be accountability for the crimes that have been committed.

Earlier this month United States Holocaust Memorial Museum rescinded its human-rights award to Aung San Suu Kyi for her failure to stop or acknowledge the persecution of the Rohingya.

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