Facebook to hire human rights director following Rohingya abuses

2 min


Just weeks after banning several high-ranking Myanmar military officials, Facebook is hiring a director of human rights to address how it could be contributing to human rights abuses.

In March, a UN investigator accused Facebook of being used to incite violence and racial hatred against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority.

Last month, an independent fact-finding mission declared that senior figures from the country’s military “must be prosecuted” for genocide.

The denials of abuse by Myanmar’s officials ran counter to the racist language and celebrations of massacres which Facebook banned 20 of the country’s senior figures for.

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Rohingya reporters sentenced to seven years in prison

:: Explained – The Rohingya refugee crisis

Before the bans were enforced the company was accused of perpetuating the persecution, and the question was put to Mark Zuckerberg directly when he appeared before US Congress officials earlier this year.

Mr Zuckerberg seemed to suggest a lack of Burmese-language specialists had prevented Facebook’s moderators from quickly detecting posts dehumanising the Rohingya minority and inciting violence.

:: Satellite images ‘prove Rohingya villages were burned’

Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress
Mark Zuckerberg told US Congress that his company lacked Burmese speakers

The UN report stated: “Although improved in recent months, Facebook’s response has been slow and ineffective. The extent to which Facebook posts and messages have led to real-world discrimination and violence must be independently and thoroughly examined.”

:: Rohingya babies dumped and left to die

In the new job advertisement, Facebook claims it is “dedicated to understanding the human rights impacts of our platform” and to “act against those who would use Facebook to enable harm, stifle expression, and undermine human rights”.

:: Two journalists jailed in Rohingya official secrets case

The social media firm’s director of human rights policy will be ultimately responsible for co-ordinating and advising Facebook’s different teams to tackle human rights abuses however they emerge.

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