Lawsuit Against Facebook by Rohingya Refugees
December 6, 2021
Cited article by Rebecca Klar, The Hill
The social media platform Facebook is being sued for $150 billion USD by Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. Similar suits are also being brought from the California Supreme Court, and from the UK. Specifically, the lawsuits are alleging that Facebook's lack of action to restrict anti-Rohingya hate speech enabled and fueled physical violence within the region.
While publicly, Meta, formerly Facebook Inc., states that they are appalled by the crimes committed, allegations continue as to the role that the Facebook algorithm plays in extremist messaging. Facebook has acknowledged that they are able to remove the majority of hate speech, however the case states that the response to the anti-Rohingya hate speech was underwhelming and lacked proper allocation of resources. In light of recent documents leaked about Facebook's internal operations, increasing questions are being asked as to how stringently Facebook is monitoring and enforcing their policies regarding such damaging verbal attacks.
HRRC strongly condemns hate speech and acknowledges the role that it plays in escalating violent responses. While social media can be utilized for positive endeavors, action must be taken to ensure accountability for a platform that enables hate speech and fuels violence.