Facebook Adds Steps to Address the Spread of Hate Speech in Sri Lanka and Myanmar

As Facebook handles the global criticism over its platform’s role in upholding violence, the company stated that it’s taking new measures to slow the spread of hate. In a blog post, the company cited a plan that has been recently taken in two nations: Sri Lanka and Myanmar, both of which have been shot by social media-fueled conflict.

In Sri Lanka, where posts on Facebook have spread anti-Muslim disturbance, the company stated that it’s restricting the number of messages that users would be able to forward — a change the company previously made to WhatsApp amidst similar concerns. The number of threads, which one would be able to forward at once, is supposedly set at five in the nation.

The company stated that it is also aiming on “borderline content,” which may be sensationalist but does not precisely breach the platform’s rules. In Myanmar, where the minority Rohingya population is being expelled, the company stated that it would diminish the distribution of all content from people who show “a pattern” of breaching Facebook’s community standards.

The company stated that in the meantime it would continue to prohibit people who directly encouraging violence. The company in its post stated that lowering distribution of content is, however, another level we can pull to battle the spread of hateful content and activity.

Facebook’s dealing of violence in nations like Myanmar has been widely examined, with advocates stating its endeavors have been “nowhere near enough.” After an independent assessment on Myanmar, Facebook concluded it “can and should do more.”

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