Promote human rights in Myanmar | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 07, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:32 AM, March 07, 2019

Promote human rights in Myanmar

UN urges social media, investors

Social media firms and foreign investors must do more to ensure they support human rights in Myanmar, UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee said on Tuesday, suggesting Facebook was failing to treat parties to the country's conflict even-handedly.

Myanmar has been trying to attract foreign investors and divert attention from 730,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled the country since 2017. A UN inquiry blamed the exodus on a military campaign with "genocidal intent", which the government denies.

Facebook said this month it had banned four insurgent groups fighting Myanmar's military after it was criticised for not doing enough to block content fuelling the conflict. Lee said she was concerned that Facebook had not banned Myanmar's army and allied armed groups as well.

"Contrary to achieving the stated aim of decreasing tensions, this selective banning may contribute to feelings of inequality by ethnic minorities," Lee said in a report she will present to the UN Human Rights Council on March 11.

"Public institutions linked to the military, its supporters, extremist religious groups and members of the government continue to proliferate hate speech and misinformation on Facebook."

The company said it had taken steps to ban "hate figures, hate organisations and military officials" from Facebook in Myanmar. Its investigations were ongoing and not limited to the four groups it had blacklisted.

"We don't want anyone to use Facebook to incite or promote violence, no matter who they are," it said in a statement.

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