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Rohingya refugees sue Facebook for $ 150 billion in Reuters violence in Myanmar

© Reuters. File Photo: The Facebook logo is displayed on your mobile phone with an illustration of this photo taken on December 2, 2019. REUTERS / JohannaGeron / Illustration / File Photo

Elizabeth Califord

(Reuters)-Rohingya refugees from Myanmar previously known as Facebook (NASDAQ :) in response to allegations that social media companies did not take action against the anti-Rohingya hatred speech that caused the violence. He is suing Meta Platforms Inc.

A U.S. class proceeding complaint filed in California by law firms Edelson PC and FieldsPLLC on Monday alleges that the failure of a company to crack down on content and its platform design contributed to the real-world violence faced by the Rohingya community. doing. With coordinated action, a UK lawyer also submitted a notice to Facebook’s London office.

Facebook did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the proceedings. The company said it was “too late to prevent false alarms and hatred” in Myanmar and took steps to crack down on platform abuse in the region, including a ban on troops from Facebook and Instagram after the February 1 coup. He said he had taken it.

Facebook states that it is protected from liability for content posted by users by US Internet law known as Section 230. Under this law, the online platform is not responsible for content posted by third parties. The complaint states that if Article 230 was filed as a defense, it would apply Burmese law to the claim.

U.S. courts can apply foreign law in the event of corporate harm or activity in other countries, but two legal experts interviewed by Reuters said they were in a lawsuit against a social media company. Said he did not know that the precedent that was triggered was successful. Section 230 protection may apply.

Professor Anupam Chander of Georgetown University Law Center said it was not “inappropriate” to enforce Burmese law. But he predicts that “it’s unlikely to succeed,” and “it would be strange to allow Congress to take mortgage action under US law, but allow them to proceed under foreign law.” Said.

More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar’s Rakhine State in August 2017 after a military crackdown that refugees said included genocide and rape. Rights groups recorded the killings of civilians and the incinerators of the village.

Myanmar officials say they are fighting the rebellion and denying that they commit systematic atrocities.

In 2018, a UN human rights investigator said the use of Facebook played an important role in spreading hate speech that fueled violence. That year’s Reuters survey found more than 1,000 examples of posts, comments, and images that were quoted in US complaints and attacked Rohingya and other Muslims on Facebook.

The International Criminal Court has filed proceedings for criminal accusations in the area. In September, a U.S. federal judge ordered Facebook to publish a record of accounts related to anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar, which was closed by a social media giant.

The new class action has been accused by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who leaked cash of internal documents this year, to not crack down on abusive content in countries where such discourse is most likely to be harmful. Mentioned.

The complaint also cites recent media coverage, including last month’s Reuters coverage, and the Myanmar military has fake social media accounts to engage in what is widely referred to as “information combat” in the military. I was using it.

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Rohingya refugees sue Facebook for $ 150 billion in Reuters violence in Myanmar Rohingya refugees sue Facebook for $ 150 billion in Reuters violence in Myanmar

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