Unbelievable. The Rohingya people, a Muslim minority in Burma, are facing brutal persecution and ethnic cleansing. Yet, when they try to share stories about the attacks, Facebook reportedly deletes their posts!
The Rohingya people are facing desperate times. The Muslim ethnic minority group in Burma (also known as Myanmar) has experienced intensified persecution and violence from the Burmese military, who reportedly torch villages, murder refugees and force thousands of people flee their homes, according to The Daily Beast. These actions are “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” according to a top UN Official. To make matters worse, when the Rohingya try to document the attacks on Facebook, their posts are reportedly deleted and their accounts are either suspended or taken down.
Mohammad Anwar, a Kuala Lumpur-based Rohingya activist and journalist, told The Daily Beast that Facebook has repeatedly deleted his posts about violence in the Rakhine State. Anwar shared screenshots with the Beast of posts that Facebook reportedly removed, including an Aug. 28 posts that claimed Burmese military helicopters were flying over Rohingya villages in the Maungdaw District. “We removed the post below because it doesn’t follow the Facebook Community Standards,” Facebook told Muhammad after deleting the post. That same day, he also posted about how the military was burning down a Rohingya hamlet. That post was also reportedly deleted by Facebook, who cited the Community Standards.
Rohingya activists in both Burma and Western countries also say Facebook is censoring their posts. Aung Tin, a Burmese Muslim who lives in Canada who posts frequently about Burma’s atrocities, told The Daily Beast that his account has been shut down more than 10 times. After criticizing a Burmese soldier who vowed to kill Muslims, Aung said he was kicked off of Facebook for saying the Burmese government had “poisoned the whole country.”
“I was banned for one month for that one comment,” Aung told The Daily Beast. Facebook said they’re looking into the situation. “Anyone can report content to us if they think it violates our standards,” Ruchika Budhraja, a Facebook spokesperson, told The Daily Beast in a statement. “In response to the situation in Myanmar, we are carefully reviewing content against our Community Standards.”
An estimated 429,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh in less than a month, according to ABC News. The Muslim group has been facing persecution and discrimination for decades, as the majority-Buddhist country denies them citizenship and refuses to recognize the Rohingya as an ethnicity. Violence against the Rohingya has intensified in recent months, and as they try to call for help, it seems Facebook is hitting “Delete.”
What do you think about Facebook reportedly engaging in censorship, HollywoodLifers?