Indications Myanmar cleansing Rohingyas — UN genocide adviser

Indications Myanmar cleansing Rohingyas — UN genocide adviser

"Under the present conditions, returning to Myanmar will put the Rohingya population at risk of further crimes", he said.

Facebook said Tuesday it is "seriously" fighting hate speech in Myanmar, following blistering criticism from United Nations officials who said the platform had morphed into a "beast" that helps spread vitriol against Rohingya Muslims.

Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was last week stripped of a prestigious human rights award by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, which accused her of doing little to halt the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.

Social media has "substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict", Darusman told reporters on March 12. "Hate speech and incitement to violence on social media is rampant, particularly on Facebook".

Similarly, UN Myanmar investigator Yanghee Lee said Facebook's role in disseminating information to the public plays a huge part of the public's life, which has affected their views on the genocide that is taking place.

"Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar", Lee told reporters, according to Reuters.

Lee adds that the ultra-nationalist Buddhists also have their own Facebook accounts which incite "a lot of violence and a lot of hatred against the Rohingya or other ethnic minorities".

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"And I am afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast than what it was originally meant to be used in other parts of the world too", she added.

To date, more than 650,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state into Bangladesh, with many refugees providing testimonies of executions and rapes by Myanmar's security forces.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed in November to begin repatriating Rohingya who volunteered to return to Rakhine, but the plan has stalled.

She called for the establishment of a United Nations structure, based in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, for a duration of three years to investigate, document, collect, consolidate, map, and analyse evidence of human rights violations and abuses.

"We take this incredibly seriously and have worked with experts in Myanmar for several years to develop safety resources and counter-speech campaigns", a Facebook spokesperson told the BBC.

"We have invested significantly in technology and local language expertise to help us swiftly remove hate content and people who repeatedly violate our hate speech policies", the spokesperson added. Beyond its global effort to bolster its content moderation by hiring more reviewers, it says it routinely removes hate speech content in the country, including Wirathu's account (although this only happened in late February), and that it has developed and promoted localized guidelines for using Facebook.