Rohingya refugees sued Facebook for $150 billion over Myanmar violence over irregular hate speech

New Delhi: Myanmar’s Rohingya refugees have decided to sue social media giant Meta for $150 billion over its reckless contribution to the ongoing violence in Myanmar, Reuters reported.

The report said that META allegedly did not take action against the anti-Rohingya hate speech, which allegedly led to violence against them.

On the morning of February 1, 2021, democratically elected members of Myanmar’s ruling party were overthrown by the Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s military. This marked the beginning of a coup organized by the Commander-in-Chief of the Tatmadaw, Min Aung Huling. This led to protests in Myanmar in February 2021, known locally as the Spring Revolution.

US complaint blames META for Rohingya violence

On Monday, law firm Adelson PC & Fields PLLC filed a US class-action complaint against Meta in California. The complaint blames Meta for real-world violence faced by the Rohingya community, and states that the violence was caused by the company’s failures to regulate content on its social media platform and Facebook’s design . British lawyers also handed over a letter of notice to Facebook’s London office in a coordinated action.

According to the report, Facebook has said it was “too slow to stop misinformation and hate” in Myanmar. The company said it had banned the military from Facebook and Instagram after the coup, as well as took other steps to crack down on abuse of the platform in the region.

Facebook says Section 230 protects the company from liability

Citing a US Internet law known as Section 230, Facebook has said that the law protects the company from liability over content posted by users because Section 230 stipulates that online platforms post content posted by third parties. are not liable for. However, the complaint states that if Facebook raises Section 230 as a defense, it attempts to apply Burmese law to the claims.

The report said Reuters had interviewed two legal experts in the matter. Legal experts said they found a successful precedent (an official decision in the past to be considered as a rule to be followed in the same situation later) in lawsuits against social media companies for foreign law enforcement. Didn’t know where the use of section 30 is concerned. as protection.

Myanmar law unlikely to succeed: law professor

A Reuters report quoted Georgetown University Law Center professor Anupam Chander as saying that enforcing Myanmar’s law was not “unfair”. However, Chander predicted that “this is unlikely to succeed,” and added that “it would be strange for Congress to withhold action under US law, but allow them to proceed under foreign law”.

This is not the first time Facebook has been prosecuted for its alleged role in violent activities in Myanmar. In 2018, UN human rights investigators said Facebook use played a fundamental role in spreading hate speech, which fueled violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, leading to more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing the state.

That same year, a US complaint cited a Reuters investigation that found more than 1,000 examples of posts, comments and images on Facebook attacking Rohingyas and other Muslims, the report said.

In September, Facebook was ordered by a US federal judge to release records of accounts linked to anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar, which the company had shut down, the report said.