Friday, November 16, 2018 | ePaper

Don't use Facebook for spreading hatred and inciting violence

  • Print
The general election of Myanmar in 2020 may be a fertile ground for 'incitement to violence' where the powerful platform of the social media Facebook could be used to spread hate speech. The tech giant issued warning about it on Tuesday. For years, the Facebook has come under fire in Myanmar from rights groups for its slow response to abusive posts, with the Rohingya Muslims bearing the brunt of the invective. However, it has blacklisted several hard-line Buddhist monks, and after a UN probe called for the army chief and other top military brass to be prosecuted for genocide, the Facebook blocked them too.
The Facebook commissioned an assessment on its performance by California-based consultants Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), which carried out interviews between May and September 2018. The BSR agreed that the platform had been used by those 'seeking to incite violence and cause offline harm'. It also said Facebook's problems in Myanmar are far from over and the state will have to bear the ultimate responsibility.
We do agree on this point that it was Myanmar government's responsibility to stop spread hatred; especially when spreading of rumour and hate using the platform by a section of influential quarter including high-ups of civil and military bureaucracy had created an abnormal situation. Now it is feared that the Myanmar 2020 election is 'likely to be a flashpoint for hate speech, harassment, misinformation, incitement to violence, and other actions designed to undermine the political process'.
Over 1.2 million Rohingyas are now staying in Bangladesh being driven away by the Myanmar military where over 7 lakh came after massive crackdown in August 25 last year. It's an open secret that de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi -- who had won the 2015 vote ending decades of military rule and her administration which enjoys a power-sharing agreement with the military — hasn't shown any sincerity in ending the Rohingya crisis.
When Myanmar has been facing international pressure following brutal repression on Rohingya Muslim minorities; at that time it would not be wise for its rulers to let anyone making the country a fertile ground for spreading hate and inciting violence during the election. 

More News For this Category

Mass awareness needed if NBR wants more people under tax net

THE countrywide 'Income Tax Fair -2018' has already drawn a huge crowd. The authorities hope more people would be brought under tax net this year too. Finance Minister AMA

Migrant workers : Unsung heroes deserve more attention

MIGRANT rights activists from the South Asian countries on Wednesday called for taking up strong labour migration programmes to promote and protect decent works for migrants. They put forth

Readers’ Forum

Alarming rise in Dhaka's population Dhaka has recently been branded as the second worst city in the world to live in by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The ranking

Healthy rivers and lakes are essential for existence

Andreas Baumüller :Healthy rivers, lakes and wetlands are not a luxury. They are essential to our existence. They supply and purify our  drinking water. They help us adapt to

Trump's anti-media rhetoric

Thalif Deen :A former French president once remarked: Never pick a fight with a little kid or the press. The kid will throw the last stone at you and

Community engagement needed to reduce disaster risks

Lisa Cornish :Over the past decade, almost 4000 natural disasters have impacted 2 billion people costing $1.7 billion in damages. Two-thirds of those affected were found in China, India,

Time for fixing banking irregularities

THE Bangladesh Bank's role as the custodian of the production and distribution of money and credit in the economy has been eroded by the finance ministry in the past

Power vacuum in Sri Lanka as political crisis deepens

THE ongoing political crisis in the South Asian island nation Sri Lanka has depended further as its Parliament yesterday passed a no-confidence motion against newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda

Shifting from manager to leader

Sara Canaday :Just because you have a management title doesn't automatically mean you're a great leader. But making that sometimes-subtle shift is essential for the success of your career

The echoes of November 1918

Daniel W. Drezner :For the past five years, centennials marking the First World War have haunted international relations pundits. A few years ago, to mark the start of the