UN investigators have blamed Facebook for playing a role in the possible genocide in Myanmar by disseminating hate speech, reports the Guardian. Over 650,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the country following the murder of their people by Myanmar security forces. Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, said Facebook had played a “determining role” in what is happening to the Rohingya Muslims:
“It has . . . substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict, if you will, within the public. Hate speech is certainly of course a part of that. As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media.”
UN Myanmar investigator Yanghee Lee went further:
“Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar . . . It was used to convey public messages, but we know that the ultra-nationalist Buddhists have their own Facebooks and are really inciting a lot of violence and a lot of hatred against the Rohingya or other ethnic minorities. I’m afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended.”
Facebook has yet to comment on the UN’s criticisms.