Briefing: Amnesty International’s new report on Meta’s role in the Rohingya Ethnic Cleansing
On October 19, 2022 held a briefing on Amnesty International’s new report, The Social Atrocity: Meta and the Right to Remedy for the Rohingya. Amnesty’s staff shared their research into Meta’s role in the ethnic cleansing and its responsibility to contribute to remedy for the Rohingya. The event was co-sponsored by the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and the International Campaign for the Rohingya.
Beginning in August 2017, the Myanmar security forces undertook a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Northern Rakhine State. A UN investigation found that the role of Facebook in the violence was “significant”.
Amnesty International’s report, The Social Atrocity: Meta and the Right to Remedy for the Rohingya, is based on an in-depth investigation into Meta (formerly Facebook)’s role in the serious human rights violations perpetrated against the Rohingya. It reveals that in the months and years leading up to the 2017 atrocities, the Facebook platform became an echo chamber of virulent anti-Rohingya content in Myanmar. Meta’s algorithms proactively amplified and promoted content which incited violence, hatred, and discrimination against the Rohingya – pouring fuel on the fire of long-standing discrimination and substantially increasing the risk of an outbreak of mass violence.
Despite its partial acknowledgement that it played a role in the 2017 violence against the Rohingya, Meta has to date failed to provide an effective remedy to affected Rohingya communities. However, Amnesty International’s systematic legal analysis of Meta’s role in the atrocities perpetrated against the Rohingya leaves little room for doubt: Meta substantially contributed to adverse human rights impacts suffered by the Rohingya and has a responsibility to provide survivors with an effective remedy.
Investors continue to urge ICT companies to prioritize human rights protections in their policies, practices, and business models through the Investor Statement on Corporate Accountability for Digital Rights signed by over 80 investors. In addition, over 86 investors and their representatives are calling in the Investor Statement on Human Rights and Business Activities in Myanmar on companies to undertake enhanced due diligence to ensure that their business activities are not linked to or supporting human rights harms committed by the military junta. Both statements remain open for signature.