A U.N. fact-finding mission has highlighted the role of social media networks, and Facebook in particular, in fueling hate speech against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, telling the U.N. Human Rights Council this week that "incitement to violence" is "rampant" and "unchecked". Investigators also analyzed satellite imagery, photos and video footage.
Marzuki Darusman, chairman of a fact-finding mission on Myanmar set up by the council, said his team had received a flood of allegations against the security forces in Rakhine, Kachin, Shan and elsewhere.
In response to a question last month about the most prominent of Myanmar's hardline nationalist monks, Wirathu, whose one-year preaching ban has recently expired, Facebook said it suspends and removes anyone who "consistently shares content promoting hate".
The report expressed concern over a spike in reported human rights violations in the region that have resulted in significant displacement of population, further exacerbating a "longstanding humanitarian crisis". "It is not the policy of the government, and this we can assure you", he said.
About 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since Myanmar's military launched an operation in August against "insurgents" in Rakhine state. Some were burned alive in their homes - often the elderly, disabled and young children.
Myanmar's government has rejected two reports presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council that concluded it committed extreme human rights violations, probably amounting to crimes under global law, in its repression of several minority groups. "Others were hacked to death".
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The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, has strongly criticized the worldwide community for ignoring atrocities committed by Myanmar authorities, accusing them of burying their "head in the sand".
The Turnbull government has been accused of being spineless when it comes to calling out human rights abuses in Myanmar.
Lee said that Facebook was used as the toll by the state government to disseminate information to the public.
She interviewed more than 100 refugees in Bangladesh, and they told her awful things: "Parents told me harrowing accounts of witnessing their young children being thrown into fires".
In an emailed statement, Facebook spokesperson Ruchika Budhraja said in part: "There is no place for hate speech or content that promotes violence on Facebook, and we work hard to keep it off our platform".
Lee said the platform had "turned into a beast". "It was used to convey public messages but we know that the ultra-nationalist Buddhists have their own Facebooks and are really inciting a lot of violence and a lot of hatred against the Rohingya or other ethnic minorities".