09:05 GMT22 June 2021
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    A UN reporter has called out Facebook as a tool for spreading “acrimony, dissension and conflict” in escalating what is now being called a genocide against ethnic Rohingya Muslims at the hands of Myanmar security forces and a supportive government.

    According to the chairman of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, Marzuki Darusman, the social media giant has played a "determining role" in documented atrocities still playing out in Myanmar, as reported by The Guardian.

    Facebook "has… substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict, if you will, within the public," Darusman stated, adding that "hate speech is certainly, of course, a part of that."

    The UN official, noting the widespread integration of Facebook in the country, last week asserted that genocide has taken place in Myanmar against the Rohingya population.

    "As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media," he claimed.

    Over 680,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state seeking shelter in neighboring Bangladesh since August 2017.

    Rohingya refugees have reported countless atrocities, including murder and rape, at the hands of Myanmar soldiers, law enforcement and local vigilante groups.

    "Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar," UN Myanmar investigator Yanghee Lee stated recently, adding that "I'm afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended."

    The social media behemoth has been "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," Lee said, cited by The Guardian.

    According to boilerplate statements from Facebook spokespersons, the company has suspended and occasionally removed any page that "consistently shares content promoting hate," although the specific criterion that leads to that action has not been made public.



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    genocide, genocide, Facebook, United Nations, The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), US, Bangladesh, Myanmar
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