Hate speech on the social media platform is said to have fueled the genocide of the Muslim minority. Facebook is accused of negligence.
British and American Rohingya are suing the social networking site for about 150 billion dollars. The reason for the charges is Facebook’s role in the Rohingya genocide. That is a Muslim minority that is heavily oppressed in the Asian country of Myanmar.
The algorithms the company uses would clear the way for hate speech. According to the prosecutors, this would, in turn, be converted into deeds and thus ‘facilitated’ the genocide. Facebook has been active in Myanmar since 2011. But, according to the prosecutors, Facebook did not want to intervene because the company did not want to lose its market share in the country.
“Facebook has become a medium for those who want to spread hate speech and do harm. Some posts were linked to offline violence,” concluded an independent report on the matter in 2018. Not much later, Facebook struck a mea culpa.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres previously described the Rohingya as “the most discriminated against people in the world.” They mainly live in the Myanmar province of Rakhine. They fled en masse from the summer of 2017 to neighbouring Bangladesh after law enforcement cracked down on them. More than 10,000 people probably died at the time, according to The Guardian.