Rohingya refugees sue Facebook
Rohingya refugees sue Facebook

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are suing Meta, formerly Facebook, for $150 billion, accusing the social media company of failing to quell the hate speech of Rohingya that fueled the violence.

The US class action lawsuit was filed in California by the law firm Edelson and Fields. The lawsuit alleges that the company's failure to oversee the content and design of its platform has led to real violence facing the Rohingya community.

In a coordinated action, the British lawyer also sent a notification letter to Facebook's London office.

The company said it was too slow to prevent misinformation and hate in Myanmar. However, steps have since been taken to combat platform abuse in the region. Including the military ban imposed on Facebook and Instagram after the February 1 coup.

Facebook has stated that it is not responsible for any content posted by users under Section 230 of the US Internet Act.

Article 230 states that online platforms are not responsible for content posted by third parties.

The complaint stated that if Article 230 is used as a defense, an attempt will be made to apply Myanmar law to such claims. US courts can apply foreign laws to tort and business cases in other countries.

Two legal experts said they were not aware of any successful precedents allowing foreign law enforcement agencies to use Section 230 protections in litigation against social media companies.

The law can be invoked. But it is not expected to be successful. It would be odd for Congress to block proceedings under US law and allow them to pass under foreign law.

In August 2017, more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar's Rakhine state following the military crackdown, which refugees said included massacres and rape.

Human rights organizations documented the killing of civilians and the burning of villages. Myanmar authorities have said they have fought the insurgency and have denied systematic atrocities.

Facebook faces $150 billion lawsuit

In 2018, United Nations human rights investigators said that the use of Facebook played a significant role in spreading hate speech that fuels violence.

A Reuters investigation earlier this year found that more than 1,000 posts, comments and photos on the platform attacked Rohingya and other Muslims.

The International Criminal Court has filed a complaint against crimes in the region. In September, a US federal judge ordered Facebook to release tapes of accounts relating to violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar. Locked by social networking giants.

The new class action cited Francis Hogan's statement that the company does not monitor offensive content in countries where such data could cause the most harm.

The complaint also referred to recent media reports that the Myanmar military used fake accounts on social media platforms to carry out what the military calls information warfare.

Muhammad Tahir, a refugee who lives in a huge refugee camp in Bangladesh, said the camp houses more than one million Rohingyas. He said Facebook was widely used to spread anti-Rohingya propaganda.

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