(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- Amnesty International is claiming Facebook’s algorithms promoted hateful content against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority before the military began committing widespread violence against the Muslim group in 2017.
In a recently released report, Amnesty International alleged that Meta, Facebook’s parent company, was aware that its algorithms were amplifying hateful content against the Rohingya, but chose to do nothing to stop it.
Amnesty said Facebook users “linked to the Myanmar military and radical Buddhist nationalist groups” flooded the site with “anti-Muslim content,” including “disinformation” that warned of an “impending Muslim takeover.” These posts often portrayed the Rohingya minority as “invaders,” the report said.
One post that was reportedly shared over a thousand times referred to one Muslim human rights activist as a “national traitor.” Comments to the post called for the murder of Myanmar’s Muslim minorities, including one that called for the removal of “his whole race.”
In a 2017 post, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing wrote, “We openly declare that absolutely, our country has no Rohingya race.”
In 2021, a group of Rohingya refugees filed suit against Facebook, alleging that the social media giant failed to do anything about the “dangerous rhetoric” that it claimed led to the massacre of thousands of Rohingya.
During the conflict, over 25,000 Rohingya were murdered and thousands more were raped in Myanmar’s Rakhine province, prompting over 700,000 to flee the region. But in the year before, Meta’s internal research allegedly found that Facebook’s recommendation systems “grow the problem” of extremism, according to documents reviewed by Amnesty.
Amnesty International Secretary General Agnès Callamard said of the report that as Myanmar’s military committed “crimes against humanity against the Rohingya,” Meta profited “from the echo chamber of hatred created by its hate-spiraling algorithms.”
Facebook’s policies on hate speech allegedly bar users from posting content that targets a person or group with “violent speech or support in written or visual form.”