Facebook whistleblower highlights Rohingya complaint at Leinster House
By Brian O’Donovan, RTE
The Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has met with Irish politicians at Leinster House.
Ms Haugen is in Ireland this week and spoke yesterday evening at Trinity College Dublin.
At a briefing today chaired by Labour Party TD Ivana Bacik, and co-hosted by Labour Senator Marie Sherlock, Ms Haugen highlighted a complaint made by 16 Rohingya youths and women against Meta, the parent company of Facebook, to the OECD National Contact Point in Ireland.
The complainants have accused Meta of fuelling genocidal violence against the Rohingya community in 2017.
“It rests with Ireland to evaluate the facts and decide whether it will promote justice or the interests of a trillion-dollar profit machine,” Ms Haugen said.
Yesterday, campaign group Global Witness accused Facebook of failing to detect and root out hate speech inciting violence and genocide against the Rohingya people.
In response, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said it has built a dedicated team of Burmese speakers, disrupted networks manipulating public debate and taken action on misinformation.
“We’ve also invested in Burmese-language technology to reduce the prevalence of violating content. This work is guided by feedback from experts, civil society organisations and independent reports, including the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar’s findings and the independent Human Rights Impact Assessment we commissioned and released in 2018,” a Meta spokesperson said.
Dozens of Rohingya refugees in the UK and US have sued Facebook, accusing the social media giant of allowing hate speech against them to spread.
They are demanding more than $150bn (€136bn) in compensation.