The report by San Francisco-based nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) urged that Facebook more strictly enforce its material policies, enhance involvement with both Myanmar officials and civil society groups and regularly release additional data regarding its advancement in the country.
“The report concludes that, prior to this past year, we weren’t doing enough to help stop our platform from being used to foment division and incite offline violence. We agree that we can and ought to do more,” Alex Warofka, a Facebook merchandise policy director, said in a blog post.
BSR also warned that Facebook must be ready to handle a likely onslaught of misinformation throughout Myanmar’s 2020 elections, and new issues as use of its WhatsApp climbs in Myanmar, according to the report, which Facebook released.
A Reuters special report at August found that Facebook failed to immediately heed numerous warnings from organizations in Myanmar about social networking posts fueling attacks on minority groups such as the Rohingya.
Back in August 2017 the military led a crackdown at Myanmar’s Rakhine State in reaction to strikes by Rohingya insurgents, pushing more than 700,000 Muslims to neighboring Bangladesh, according to U.N. agencies.
The social networking website in August removed many Myanmar army officials from the platform to protect against the spread of”hate and misinformation,” for the first time prohibiting a country’s political or military leaders.
Additionally, it removed dozens of accounts for engaging in a campaign that”used seemingly independent news and opinion pages to secretly induce the messages from the Myanmar military.”
Facebook said it has begun correcting shortcomings.
Facebook explained that it now has 99 Myanmar language specialists reviewing possibly questionable content. In addition, it’s expanded use of automatic tools to decrease distribution of violent and dehumanizing posts while they experience review.
In the third quarter, the business said that it”took action” on roughly 64,000 pieces of articles that violated its hate speech policies. About 63 percent have been identified by automatic software, up from 52% in the previous quarter.
Facebook has roughly 20 million users in Myanmar, according to BSR, which warned Facebook faces several unresolved challenges in Myanmar.
BSR said locating staff there, for example, could help in Facebook’s understanding of how its solutions are utilized locally but said its employees could be targeted by the nation’s army, which was accused by the UN of ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.