“I named them individually and they all become my friends,” he would say later. See more of One News Myanmar on Facebook. 76,957 visits. Still, the company continued its work with seemingly little local input. Thein Sein’s military-backed party suffered a near-total defeat by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy at the polls in November 2015. The historical record is not encouraging.". He added the company has hired “dozens more Burmese language reviewers,” a refrain that has become so common it is now a running joke in Myanmar tech circles. By analyzing the Facebook accounts of 100 monks, politicians, activists, government officials, and laypeople, the group found what it described as a “campaign of hate speech that actively dehumanizes Muslims.”. Ambitious connectivity targets included in the license agreements by the government ensured that the country’s internet use would skyrocket in coming years. Facebook also had at least two direct warnings before the 2014 riots that hate speech was exploding on the platform and could have real-world consequences. The company, however, has failed to provide details about these monitors. While well intentioned, the process showed a profound lack of familiarity with the Burmese language and the context of language use. 14,288 people like this. (Five people, including a woman who admitted she was paid to make the false rape claim, were eventually sentenced to 21 years in prison for their roles in starting the riots.). “That is an open question. Meanwhile, the Myanmar government and military have been among the most adept and sophisticated users of Facebook, using the platform to put out their own narrative of the Rohingya crisis. A former senior government official said Zaw Htay was the “focal person,” of Facebook’s dealings with the country’s government. About Us. (UPDATE, July 19, 2018: Facebook announced on July 18 that it would expand its efforts to remove material that could incite violence. Thein Sein was sworn in as president of Myanmar in March 2011 for a five-year term. This was clear well before 2017.”, It was not just domestic groups who were raising concerns. He has become an outspoken advocate for media freedom, even joking about his stint in jail. The riots wouldn’t have happened without Facebook. Copies of it still circulate on the platform. 14,046,055 people like this. In a lengthy presentation to company officials, he said Facebook risked being a platform used to foment widespread violence, akin to the way radio broadcasts were used to incite killings during the Rwandan genocide. In written responses to follow-up questions from Senator Leahy, the company stuck to the familiar, evasive line. Madden, the tech hub founder, flew to California in May 2015 to speak to Facebook executives about Myanmar’s massive growth in online users and the rise of Buddhist nationalism, he also delivered a stark message to Facebook. Mizzima provides timely news, features and analysis on Myanmar. Facebook said on Friday it dismantled dozens of accounts and pages run in Myanmar by commercial operators because of what it described as inauthentic behaviour, including … A spokeswoman for Facebook said the company currently has no plans to open an office in the country and is capable of working around the clock by having teams working on Myanmar located in different time zones. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees in April. All rights reserved. He quickly returned to covering protests and jailings of other journalists while doling out cigarettes to fellow reporters in the informal Yangon press corps. He eventually fell asleep. But Facebook’s sprawling bureaucracy and its excitement over the potential of the the Myanmar market appeared to override concerns about the proliferation of hate speech. In Zuckerberg’s retelling of events, he got a call on a Saturday morning that there were messages stoking violence spreading through Facebook Messenger. Monks and protesters in Yangon, Myanmar, shout during a March 2015 march to denounce foreign criticism of the country's treatment of stateless Rohingya Muslims. See more of Mizzima - Myanmar News - English Edition on Facebook. People. There are now an estimated 18 million people who use Facebook in Myanmar, according to the company. The country’s internet penetration was less than 1 percent in 2011 and there were just 1.3 million mobile subscribers, according to the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations’ agency. Forgot account? The continued frustrations faced by civil society groups, tech organizations, and those at the receiving end of harassment on Facebook burst into public view this spring in the wake of an incident involving the detection and removal of yet more disinformation. The state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper declared in 2013 that in Myanmar, “a person without a Facebook identity is like a person without a home address.”. See actions taken by the people who manage and post content. After the unrest, which left scores of buildings in flames, Myanmar’s army took control in the city. Forgot account? Garlick declined to provide a specific number of Burmese language content reviewers, saying only that the number had increased over the years and that the company employs “dozens of reviewers now, and we are aiming to double that by the year’s end.”. Vermont’s Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy raised the case during Zuckerberg’s testimony in April: One post aimed at Aung Naing Soe, he said, “calls for the death of a Muslim journalist. His term ended in March 2016. In one case in late November 2017, it took three days from initial flagging of a post threatening a prominent journalist to its removal, by which time it had been copied and shared numerous times. The Myanmar public was, “in for the ride of your life right now,” he added in the speech that was a gleeful take on the positives Myanmar would reap from its technological and telecoms liberation. When Telenor and Ooredoo launched operations in 2014, people queued for hours for SIM cards that cost around a dollar. The UN lambasted Facebook’s conduct in the crisis, which the global body says "bears the hallmarks of genocide,” by serving as a platform for hate speech and disinformation, saying Facebook had "turned into a beast.”. Aung San Suu Kyi, the wildly popular opposition leader held by the military under house arrest for some 15 years, was barred from participating. He served more than eight years of his 14-year sentence, passing the time by speaking to spiders and other insects that crawled through his cell. (Disclosure: Aung Naing Soe was my translator for an article I wrote, which was published by the NewYorker.com in April. “Facebook could have done more to proactively talk about positive speech,” he says, “how to look at things on Facebook to avoid pitfalls, and the dangers of negative speech, put their brand behind a more constructive approach to the platform.”. A parliamentary election in 2010 was widely criticized as far from free and fair but an important step for the military’s carefully choreographed transition to quasi-civilian rule. The trip, which also included meetings with civil society groups, was meant to express the company’s “deep commitment to keeping the millions of people who use Facebook in Myanmar safe on our services,” Garlick says. In 2013 an official from Human Rights Watch was largely dismissive that Facebook could play a major role in the spread of hate speech. The scale of this problem was significant and it was already apparent.". A person with knowledge of Facebook’s Myanmar operations was decidedly more direct than Allen, calling the roll out of the initiative “pretty fucking stupid.”, Misleading Facebook posts continue to trigger confusion, threats of violence, and government overreach in Myanmar. Facebook is preparing to launch its Facebook News service in the UK, which works with news media and includes original reporting. The Burmese language community standards promised by Garlick, however, would not launch until September 2015, 14 months after she spoke in Yangon. Chris Tun, the head of Deloitte’s Myanmar operations and a longtime member of the country’s tech community, received a frantic phone call. Last month, a large delegation of Facebook officials made a high-profile trip to Myanmar. Last year, a public opinion survey from the International Republican Institute found that 38 percent of people polled got most, if not all, their news from Facebook. The Irrawaddy - Burmese Edition. Not Now. Not that the increased government scrutiny deterred Aung Naing Soe from pursuing his work as a journalist. About See All. The River Media Group Co., Ltd is responsible for this Page. During the decades of military rule, the country lacked a free press and the junta operated largely in secret—the military changed the country’s flag and moved the capital with almost no prior warnings—people in Myanmar had spent decades reliant on state-run propaganda newspapers, parsing opaque military announcements for what was really happening. The messages, the groups say, lead to at least three violent incidents, including the attempted torching of an Islamic school and the ransacking of shops and houses belonging to Muslims in a town in central Myanmar. “There is more we need to do and we will continue to work with civil society groups in Myanmar to listen, learn, and make progress,” she says. YANGON, Myanmar – In April, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told U.S. senators that the social media site was hiring dozens more Burmese speakers to review hate speech posted in Myanmar. facebook myanmar generals videos and latest news articles; GlobalNews.ca your source for the latest news on facebook myanmar generals . News. Upon his release, he noticed two things—the heavier traffic choking the streets of Yangon and the widespread usage of mobile phones. Zuckerberg said Facebook had a three-pronged approach to address issues in Myanmar— “dramatically” ramp up its local language content reviewers, take down accounts of individuals and groups that generate hate speech, and introduce products specially designed for the country, though he offered few details on what these would entail. See more. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design. There is deep skepticism that the current attention will push Facebook to meaningfully address the problems in Myanmar. On the line was Zaw Htay, a senior official in the office of President Thein Sein, a retired general who until a few years earlier had served as the fourth most powerful figure in the junta and a loyal comrade to dictator Than Shwe. Myanmar news. There were a few things done in late 2014 and 2015 and there was some effort made to try to understand the issues, but it wasn’t a fraction of what was needed,” says David Madden, a gregarious Australian who in 2014 founded Phandeeyar, a tech-hub in Yangon, the country’s largest city, that helped Facebook launch its Burmese language community standards. One message warned Buddhist groups about an imminent attack by Muslims on September 11. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. The journalist, fearing for their safety, left the country that month and has not returned. Create New Account. Forgotten account? Mobile shops appeared seemingly overnight hawking cheap Chinese smartphones. 1,930,960 people like this. A firefighter sprays a smoldering building in the wake of clashes between Buddhists and Muslims that left at least 20 people dead in a the central Myanmar town of Meikhtila in 2013. “Facebook wasn’t staffed to deal with a crisis and it sounds like they still aren’t,” the former US tech official says. Log In. The digital transformation was poised to accelerate that year, when the government granted licenses to two foreign telecoms providers—Norway’s Telenor and and Qatar’s Ooredoo—ending the state monopoly. Many of the posts, he says, compared Muslims to dogs or other animals. The mayhem did not spread, but during the multi-day melee in Mandalay two men—one Muslim and one Buddhist—were killed and around 20 others were injured. Tens of thousands of Rohingya were disenfranchised as they languished in ramshackle camps. ), Aung Naing Soe was not in the photo, and it took several attempts and flags for Facebook to finally remove the post. Lead by Simon Milner, Vice President of Public Policy for Asia-Pacific, the group met with the Ministry of Information, which suggested the company open an office in Myanmar, according to a state-media report on the meeting. But among Myanmar observers and experts, there are already concerns about the role Facebook could play in the country’s 2020 elections. Facebook’s rise in popularity in Myanmar came at a time of tremendous political and societal change in the Southeast Asian nation which fueled and enabled the platform’s growth. Album. The arrival of Facebook provided a country with severely limited digital literacy a hyper-connected version of the country’s ubiquitous tea shops where people gathered to swap stories, news and gossip. Our Story. or. Hungry for even more deep-dives on your next favorite topic? Business for Social Responsibility, a California based nonprofit organization, will soon begin a human rights impact assessment of Facebook’s role in Myanmar that will be made public when it is completed. In addition to posts, researchers found that “crude and dehumanizing anti-Muslim imagery and language is regularly woven into ‘memes’” including widely shared ones portraying bestiality aimed at Muslims and the “Prophet Muhammed being orally penetrated.”. Now, that threat went straight through your detection systems, it spread very quickly, and then it took attempt after attempt after attempt, and the involvement of civil society groups, to get you to remove it. The service, which was never adopted by Telenor or Oooredoo, was quietly shuttered in Myanmar due to government regulation changes the following year. Consider the case of journalist and translator Aung Naing Soe, who in November 2016 was targeted online after users began circulating a picture they claimed showed him standing with members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. Community See All. Log In. 56,049 were here. Log In. There is a great insecurity and fear among people in Myanmar that unseen powers are working in the shadows to control the levers of power, Mitchell says. Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page. Following the pushback from civil society groups, it has taken down pages of other nationalist organizations and monks, removing major sources of hate speech and misinformation. Contact One News Myanmar on Messenger. If the intentions of the police were to deter Aung Naing Soe from reporting, they didn’t work. If Facebook did not see the pages, it is because they “didn’t know where to look,” he says. Zuckerberg responded that what was happening in Myanmar was a “terrible tragedy, and we need to do more,” before Leahy tersely interjected, “We all agree with that.” Zuckerberg then laid out his three fixes for the company’s Myanmar operations. Asked if the company had reviewers proficient in the other languages besides Burmese that are used widely in Myanmar, a spokeswoman said only that when content is reported that is not in one of the languages covered by the company, Facebook works with people familiar with the language to determine if the content violates standards. "The extent to which Facebook posts and messages have led to real-world discrimination and violence must be independently and thoroughly examined. And Commerce committees in April were disenfranchised as they languished in ramshackle camps communication, voices. Disappointment with the help of Tun, zaw Htay, who now serves at the spokesman for San. 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