LONDON: Human rights group Amnesty International has demanded Meta be held accountable for its role in the persecution of the Rohingya minority group in Myanmar.
The group said that Meta’s platform, Facebook, had a part to play in the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya by amplifying hate speech and misinformation.
“Six years have gone by since Meta contributed to the terrible atrocities perpetrated against the Rohingya people,” said Pat de Brun, head of Big Tech Accountability at Amnesty International.
“Yet, although this stands out as one of the most egregious examples of a social media company’s involvement in a human rights crisis, the Rohingya are still awaiting reparations from Meta.”
On the sixth anniversary of the Myanmar military’s brutal operation, the group said that Meta’s algorithm played a significant role in creating “an echo chamber that helped foment hatred of the Rohingya people,” and accused the tech giant of prioritising profits over people.
It said that Meta’s role in the 2017 atrocities in Rakhine state contributed to “serious adverse human rights impacts suffered by the Rohingya,” making the tech giant responsible for providing an “effective remedy” to the community under international human rights standards.
“Our investigations have made it clear that Facebook’s dangerous algorithms, which are hard-wired to drive ‘engagement’ and corporate profits at all costs, actively fanned the flames of hate and contributed to mass violence, as well as the forced displacement of over half the Rohingya population of Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh,” de Brun said.
In 2022, Amnesty International published a report stating that Meta was involved in the 2017 Myanmar military-led atrocities against the Rohingya
The report also claimed that Facebook was aware of the potential harm arising from its algorithms.
Since August 2017, Myanmar security forces have carried out a brutal campaign aimed at ethnically purging Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.
The campaign led to unlawful killings, acts of sexual violence against women and girls, and the torture of men and boys.
Destruction of hundreds of Rohingya villages led to the displacement of over 700,000 Rohingya, with most forced to seek refugee in Bangladesh.