Investigated by the UN, the Myanmar army is behind hateful Facebook groups.

The Camp Fire Connections
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 The Myanmar army is behind nasty Facebook groups, which the UN is looking into.

Investigated by the UN, the Myanmar army is behind hateful Facebook groups.
On March27,2024, in Naypyidaw, Myanmar's leading military junta official, Min Aung Hlaing, arrives to give a speech at a ceremony honoring the nation's Armed Forces Day.

Prior to their brutal crackdown in 2017, a UN investigation found that the military in Myanmar was in charge of several Facebook accounts that spread hate speech against the Rohingya population. Facebook has come under fire from many for its part in the dissemination of hate speech that aided in the Rohingya refugee crisis and led to a UN inquiry into possible genocide.

Rohingya refugees sued Facebook for $150 billion in late 2021, claiming the social media company neglected to take action against hate speech that was aimed at them. Concrete evidence that the military of Myanmar was responsible for a clandestine campaign aimed at inciting hatred against the Rohingya population has now been made available by the United Nations' Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar. Via a social media campaign, the military aggressively promoted and legitimized violence against its population, rather than protecting them.

A recent study claims that the military organized and methodically distributed content designed to incite fear and hatred toward the Rohingya minority. This was accomplished by building a covert social media page network with the potential to influence millions of people.

‘Interconnected network’

The IIMM was created by the UN Human Rights Council in 2018 to look into major international crimes and get cases ready for trial.

According to a recent IIMM investigation, 43 Facebook pages shared related information from July to December 2017. It was discovered that these seemingly unconnected pages, which discussed pop culture and celebrity news, were a part of the Facebook network known as the Military Network.

Facebook deleted 10,485 hate speech incidences from these pages in August 2018 based on the report's findings. Investigators also found hate speech on six pages connected to 20 people and groups that Facebook has banned for violating human rights; all but one of them had ties to the armed forces. 

‘Excused and promoted violence’

The hate speech material perpetuated stereotypes and discriminatory narratives directed at the Rohingya minority. This included accusations of uncontrolled breeding harming Burmese racial purity, and charges that the Rohingya constituted a threat to Myanmar through violence, terrorism, and "Islamization."

It was discovered that the pages disseminating this hate speech shared creators, administrators, and editors in addition to submitting content using IP addresses linked to the Myanmar military. Within minutes, the same content was frequently reposted on other pages within this network.

The military's campaign of hate speech came at the same time as violent attacks on Rohingya villages, resulting in beatings, sexual assaults, and even fatalities. The military persisted in disseminating hate speech in spite of these crimes, with hundreds of thousands of Rohingya had to leave their places of origin.

Through its social media campaign, the Myanmar military openly encouraged and justified violence against the Rohingya minority, rather than stopping it and defending its citizens. 


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