US Judge Orders Facebook to Turn Over Deleted Posts That Promoted Hate Toward Rohingya People
A District of Columbia judge has ruled that Facebook must turn over deleted posts made by Myanmar officials encouraging hate towards the Rohingya people to the Gambian government.
The ruling comes a year after Facebook denied Gambia’s request as it tries to build a genocide case against Myanmar for the ongoing persecutions against the Rohingya people that began in 2016.
The presiding judge, Zia Faruqui, commented that “Facebook taking up the mantle of privacy rights is rich with irony. News sites have entire sections dedicated to Facebook’s sordid history of privacy scandals.”
The UN Human Rights Council found that the role of social media, and Facebook in particular, was instrumental in pushing false information and sparking hatred towards the Rohingya. They also found that Facebook was “slow and ineffective” in its response to the escalating persecution.
The posts in question were eventually deleted by Facebook, but many in the international community believe the damage has already been done. Facebook had provided information to the UN, but believed that the Gambia’s requests were too broad and intrusive.
The attacks on the Rohingya people by the Myanmar government have led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and the displacement of close to 700,000 people. The Rohingya are a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority in the predominantly Buddhist country of Myanmar. Persecution of them dates back to the 1970s.