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The Rohingya crisis in Myanmar: A Genocide Incited on Facebook

The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies and Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC) are pleased to invite you to the third session of “Decoding Hate Speech”, a series of four high-level online conversations bringing together leading voices to discuss the linkages between hate speech, technology and atrocity prevention.

History has shown that hate speech often precedes the commission of serious human rights violations and atrocities. In some situations, online hate speech has had a significant impact in the offline world. One of the gravest cases of the past few years took place in Myanmar where inaction against incitement to violence on social media platforms, mainly Facebook, contributed to the persecution of the Rohingya Muslim community. These human rights violations have been widely condemned by the global community. 

Today, the crisis in Myanmar stands out as a case study of groups harnessing social media to incite violence and of the failure of social media platforms to take action. What role did online hate speech and misinformation play in the resurgence of oppression and human rights violations? What are the lessons learned from this crisis for all stakeholders (Big Tech, states, civil society) to prevent this from happening again?

The third session of the “Decoding Hate Speech” series will focus on the weaponization of social media in Myanmar and address whether this case marks a turning point in Big Tech’s realization that they must consider the human rights impact of their platforms.

Moderator

  • Kyle Matthews, Executive Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS)

Panellists:

  • Canadian Senator Marilou McPhedran

  • Grant Shubin, Legal Director of the Global Justice Center

  • Myat Thu, Independent expert and Research Advisor at Myanmar Tech Accountability