Rohingya refugees in Myanmar have filed two lawsuits against Meta for the role of Facebook’s algorithms in spreading hate messages about Rohingya and because the company did not take down messages calling for violence against Rohingya or took them offline too late.
The refugees demand in two class-action lawsuits in the US and the UK totaling more than $150 billion, writes Reuters news agency. The lawsuits were filed anonymously. The cases allege that Facebook did too little to curb the spread of hate messages and calls for violence, and that Facebook used algorithms to spread the messages even further.
In recent years, the stateless Muslim minority has been subject to systematic violence and persecution, especially in Myanmar. Human Rights Watch suggested in 2013 that there was ethnic cleansing in Myanmar of Rohingya people.
In the case in the US The refugees argue that the Facebook corporate executive allowed posts calling on the Myanmar government to carry out attacks on the country’s Rohingya. Facebook’s algorithms would also have suggested that susceptible individuals join extremist groups, after which they only shared more hate messages on the platform. As a result, the News Feed allegedly prioritized posts that were anti-Rohingya in tone and rewarded radical users for sharing hateful posts.
Although the cases have been filed in the US and the UK, the refugees hope to be treated under the law in Myanmar, as Meta would then not be able to invoke section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the US, which would allow Meta to say it cannot. is responsible for the messages that users post on their platform.