Commentary: Facebook's removal of hate speech in Myanmar must be transparent lest be seen as silencing 'patriotic' voices

Author: Lee Short, Asia Times, Published on: 7 July 2018

"Facebook tries to silence Myanmar's hateful monks", 5 July 2018

...While Facebook tries to understand and counter how its platform is being weaponized, the suggestion that “jamming the broadcasts” will make a positive difference is already coming under scrutiny. In fact, it could have the opposite effect, some observers say.

...In this climate, without striving for greater transparency in its clampdown on incitement and hate speech from all parties, Facebook runs the risk of being seen as a foreign tool for silencing “patriotic” voices and exacerbating an already rising nationalist persecution complex.

...While Facebook’s removal of specific and actionable incitement and hate speech is a no-brainer, the banning of legitimate organizations and public figures — no matter how problematic – leads into fairly murky and uncharted territory.

The message needs to be driven home that hate speech and incitement to violence are universally unacceptable, and a big part of doing so successfully will be providing a forum for people to deconstruct it.

 

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Related companies: Facebook