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20 Nov 2018

John G. Ruggie, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government

Professor John Ruggie calls upon Facebook to make significant changes to align its practices with the UNGPs & prevent it being used to incite violence

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"Facebook in the rest of the world," 15 November 2018

On the eve of the recent closely watched US mid-term elections Facebook released a human rights impact assessment of its possible role in the ethnic cleansing of that country’s Muslim Rohingya population... A Facebook blog announcing the report states that “we weren’t doing enough to help prevent our platform from being used to foment division and incite offline violence.”... We find comparable Facebook involvement in murderous incitement and misinformation in other countries, including Egypt after the Arab spring, India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Ukraine... CEO Mark Zuckerberg [said] at a US Senate hearing on US electoral ‘meddling’: “it's clear now that we didn't do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm.”... In the blog announcing the Myanmar report, Alex Worka, Policy Product Manager states: “We agree that we can and should have done more.”

... In committing to do more, Facebook has indicated that in future its practices will be “consistent with” the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights... [P]ersistent refusal to substantially change what the company does to reduce its role in others’ promotion of social strife and violence makes the attribution of ‘contribution’ inescapable. I welcome the steps Facebook has announced, including promising conduct consistent with the UN Guiding Principles. But much will have to change at the company, beginning with its business model.

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Facebook & Twitter allegedly taking insufficient action to stop spread of hate speech & misinformation through their platforms

Myanmar: Human rights assessment of Facebook reveals company not doing enough to prevent violence