Sep 12, 2018

How Facebook 'became a beast' in Myanmar

Out of a population of about 50 million, around 18 million in Myanmar are regular Facebook users. Following the explosion in Facebook use in Myanmar, the company did receive multiple warnings from individuals about how the platform was being used to spread anti-Rohingya hate speech. In 2015, tech entrepreneur David Madden travelled to Facebook's headquarters in California to give managers a presentation on how he had seen the platform used to stir up hate in Myanmar. In a statement, Facebook has admitted that in Myanmar it was "Too slow to prevent misinformation and hate", and acknowledged that countries that are new to the internet and social media are susceptible to the spreading of hate. When Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg appeared in front of Congress in April, he was asked specifically about events in Myanmar, and said that in addition to hiring more Burmese speakers, the company was also working with local groups to identify "Specific hate figures" and creating a team that would help identify similar issues in Myanmar and other countries in the future.

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