Rohingya refugees take Facebook to court
The minority group has brought forth accusations against Facebook for failing to filter hate speech on its platform.
Rohingya refugees filed a lawsuit against Facebook on Monday for over $150 billion. The refugees' accusations are centered around Facebook's inability to curtail hate speech, encouraging violence against the vulnerable minority.
According to the case, which was filed in a California court, the algorithms that power the social network encourage falsehoods and extremism, which causes real violence.
The lawsuit compares Facebook to a robot "programmed with a singular mission: to grow."
"The undeniable reality is that Facebook's growth, fueled by hate, division, and misinformation, has left hundreds of thousands of devastated Rohingya lives in its wake," the complaint states.
Hatred and pervasive prejudice against Rohingyas
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas were forced to reside in refugee camps as they were forced across the border into Bangladesh in 2017 as part of a military-backed campaign that the UN declared genocide.
For those who remained in Myanmar, citizenship is denied, targeted violence is widespread, and the official military junta discriminates against them regularly.
Not Facebook's first
This is not the first accusation of its kind against Facebook, especially in terms of its failure to prevent disinformation on its platform. The platform has not commented on the lawsuit and has recently been under pressure in the US and Europe to crack down on misinformation.
Critics claim that Facebook facilitates the spreading of lies, hurting minorities' livelihoods, and skewing elections in places like the US.
Earlier this year, headlines were dominated by a business insider claiming that Facebook was aware that its services may hurt some of its billions of users – but ignored their safety.
In October, Frances Haugen told Congress the site was "fanning ethnic violence" in some nations.
In Myanmar, the law does not protect Facebook from liability over posted content.
It is noteworthy that Facebook has partnered with some agencies such as AFP to monitor posts and delete inaccurate ones.