In Senate hearing, Zuckerberg faces blame over violence in Myanmar

In Senate hearing, Zuckerberg faces blame over violence in Myanmar
From TechCrunch - April 10, 2018

While the recent Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal is the main focus for American lawmakers questioning Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg today, the companys record beyond the U.S. raises even more alarms.

During the hearing, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy brought up the companys role in the ongoing ethnic violence in Myanmar, citing one incident where death threats against a Muslim journalist did not violate the platforms rules. In Myanmar, journalists are regularly arrested and even killed for reporting on the governments activities.

Six months ago I asked your general counsel about Facebooksrole as a breeding ground for hate speech against Rohingya refugees, Leahy said. Recently, U.N. investigators blamed Facebook for playing a role in inciting the possible genocide in Myanmar, and there has been genocide there.

Using screenshots mounted on a poster, the Senator cited a specific threat calling for the death of Muslim journalists in the country:

That threat went straight through your detection systems. It spread very quickly and it took attempt after attempt after attempt and the involvement of civil society groups to get you to remove it. Why couldnt it be removed within 24 hours?

Leahy interrupted Zuckerberg when he began to opine about the countrys tragedy. We all agree its terrible, Leahy said, pressing the Facebook founder for substantive answers.

Zuckerberg cited the language barrier as one of the main obstacles to proper moderation of hate speech and calls for violence.

Hate speech is very language specific. Its hard to do it without people who speak the local language and we need to ramp up our effort there dramatically, Zuckerberg said.


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