Rohingya refugees have sued Facebook parent meta platform for more than $150 billion in 2017 over the company’s failure to stop hate posts inciting violence against the Muslim ethnic group by Myanmar’s military rulers and their supporters .
Lawyers filed a class-action lawsuit in California on Monday, saying Facebook’s arrival in Myanmar helped fuel hate speech, misinformation and violence, which is “a significant cause and eventual perpetuation of the Rohingya genocide”. The amount was for
Lawyers in the United Kingdom have issued a notice of their intention to file similar legal action. facebook fb,
Which was recently named Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It is the latest in a series of allegations that the social media giant fueled misinformation and political violence, which have been outlined in internal documents obtained by a consortium of news organizations including The Associated Press.
Joint legal claims for Rohingya refugees are being filed around the world on behalf of anyone who survived the violence or whose relative died.
The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic group forced to flee persecution and violence in Myanmar in 2017, with an estimated 1 million living in refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh. Some 10,000 are exterminated in the United States.
In 2018, UN human rights experts investigating attacks against the Rohingya said Facebook had played a role in spreading hate speech.
According to the law firms that organized the cases, more than 10,000 Rohingya have been killed and more than 150,000 were subjected to physical violence.
The lawsuits said Facebook’s algorithms increased hate speech against the Rohingya people and that it did not spend enough money to hire mediators and fact checkers who spoke the local language or understood the political situation.
They also say that Facebook failed to shut down accounts and pages or remove posts inciting violence or using hate speech directed at the ethnic group.
Facebook first arrived in Myanmar in 2011, arranging Internet access for millions of residents, according to the lawsuit filed in California Superior Court for San Mateo County. But the lawsuit says the company did little to warn people about the dangers of online misinformation and fake accounts – a strategy adopted by the military in its campaign against the Rohingya.
The lawsuit states that Facebook knew that rewarding users for posting dangerous content and allowing fake accounts created by autocrats to flourish would radicalize users.
“The resulting Facebook-fueled anti-Rohingya sentiment prompted and enabled Myanmar’s military government to engage in a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya,” the lawsuit says.