After failing to contain hate speech and misinformation incited the genocide In Myanmar, Facebook now says it plans to take proactive content control steps following the military coup in the country.
Rafael Frankel, a director of public policy in the Asia-Pacific region, said in an internal message posted late Monday and displayed by BuzzFeed News that the social network is watching “with great concern” the “volatile situation” in Myanmar and spreading false information or threatening violence. outlined a series of measures to destroy the people who used it.
As part of these measures, Facebook designated Myanmar as a “Temporary High Risk Location” for two weeks and allowed the company to remove content and incidents involving “calls to bring weapons” in the country. The social network had previously applied this assignment to Washington DC after the January 6 uprising in the US Capitol.
The social network, which launched its efforts to preserve the integrity of the national elections held in Myanmar in November, also said it would protect posts criticizing the military and its coup, and would monitor reports of pages and accounts attacked or seized by the military. .
“Myanmar’s November elections were an important moment in the country’s transition to democracy, but its difficulties were not gone, as international human rights groups stressed,” Frankel wrote. “This turn of events points to the days we hope to be in Myanmar’s past and reminds us of fundamental rights that should never be taken lightly.”
Facebook’s moves came after General Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the Myanmar army, took control of the country’s government on Monday and arrested his elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other members of the National Democratic League (NLD) party. After the selection NLD won most of the seats In Myanmar’s parliament, military-backed opposition groups described the results as fraudulent and demanded a re-vote.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of State officially determined The military’s capture of Myanmar as a coup triggers financial sanctions.
“After reviewing all the facts, we assessed that the Burmese army’s removal of the duly elected head of government on 1 February constituted a military coup,” a Foreign Ministry official said. The name the US government uses to refer to the country.
Facebook confirmed to BuzzFeed News the actions that Frankel outlined in his post and said it will remove content that praises or supports the coup.
“We put the safety of people in Myanmar first and remove content that violates our guidelines on violence, hate speech, and harmful misinformation,” Frankel said. “This includes removing false information that justifies the outcome of the November elections.”
Facebook is taking action in a country where it previously faced international condemnation for addressing the displacement and genocide of Rohingya Muslims in 2016. In 2018, United Nations investigators found that top military officials in Myanmar were not using Facebook. having content moderators in the country, arouse fear and spread hate speech.
The UN researchers concluded that “the extent to which Facebook posts and messages lead to real-world discrimination should be investigated independently and comprehensively.” their report.
In his post on Monday, Frankel said Facebook has used “a number of product interventions used in the past in Myanmar and during the US elections to ensure that the platform is not used to spread false information, incite violence or coordinate harm.”
Frankel wrote that the company is working to secure the accounts of “at risk or arrested” activists and journalists and to remove content that calls for threats or violence against them. The company will also protect “critical information about what is happening on the ground”, given the restrictions on news sources in the country.
Facebook’s business is an ongoing effort. On Tuesday, he removed a page of Myanmar’s military television network late Monday. The Wall Street Journal. The company banned a page for the Myawaddy television network in 2018. during a print A new page reappeared in hundreds of accounts linked to the Myanmar military, garnering 33,000 likes.
Facebook has often come under fire for facilitating the growth of violent and extremist groups and its ineffectiveness in blocking misinformation. Recently, a technology watchdog group accused the company of provoking unrest in the United States that led to the fatal coup attempt.
“[Facebook] He spent the past year failing to dismantle the conspiracy theories about extremist activity and elections fueled by President Trump, which have radicalized large sections of the population and have taken many on a dangerous path, “Tech Transparency Project (TTP). said in a report.
The report uncovered specific threats made to pro-Trump and militant groups on Facebook before and after Joe Biden’s election victory in November.