American social media giant “Facebook is an engine of anti-Muslim hate the world over,” according to British journalist, broadcaster and author Mehdi Hasan.
Hasan made the remarks in a recent article for The Intercept, written as if it is a letter to Facebook chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg. He called on Zuckerberg to crack down on hate and bigotry against Muslims.
He wrote that “you and Facebook have gone from reassuring Muslims to amplifying hate and bigotry against us. You have allowed what the actor Sacha Baron Cohen recently described as ‘the greatest propaganda machine in history’ to be used to target and persecute some of the most vulnerable Muslim communities on Earth.”
“I’m talking of course about the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar,” the journalist pointed out.
Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar said recently, “Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar. “I’m afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended.”
Hasan wrote, “You know all this, Mark. Your company has, basically, admitted to it. In November 2018, your own product policy manager, Alex Warofka, acknowledged that you and your colleagues at Facebook had not done enough ‘to help prevent our platform from being used to foment division and incite offline violence’ in Myanmar.”
More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Rakhine to neighboring Bangladesh following a military-led crackdown in 2017 that the UN has said was perpetrated with “genocidal intent.”
Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or raped by Myanmarese soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and August 2017.
“How about India’s Muslim minority communities? Does their fate keep you up at night, Mark? If not, why not?” Hasan asked.
“In October, a report by the nonprofit activist network Avaaz accused Facebook of having become a ‘megaphone for hate’ against Muslims in the northeastern Indian state of Assam,” he added.
The analyst then censured Zuckerberg for the deactivation of WhatsApp accounts of Muslims in Kashmir.
“How about the Muslims of Sri Lanka? When members of a Colombo-based advocacy group called the Center for Policy Alternatives came to your company with multiple examples of inflammatory and Islamophobic videos and posts on Facebook — including a post declaring, ‘Kill all Muslims, don’t even save an infant’ — the New York Times reports that nearly every complaint of theirs ‘got the same response: the content did not violate Facebook’s standards,” he continued.
“A call to kill all of Sri Lanka’s Muslims, spread through your platform, doesn’t bother you? Doesn’t shock you?” Hasan asked Zuckerberg.
“The sad reality is that, across both the developed and developing worlds, Muslim minority communities are being demonized, targeted, and attacked by far-right nationalists. And these far-right nationalists are being aided and abetted, whether directly or indirectly, by self-styled liberals in Silicon Valley. By Facebook. By you, Mark,” he stated.
“Is this really how you want to be remembered? Not as the founder of a company that brought together 2 billion people online through funny memes and friend requests, but as the founder of a propaganda machine that helped incite and organize the mass killing of hundreds of thousands of Muslims?”