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In Myanmar, "Facebook has now turned into a beast", United Nations investigators say

13 March 2018

The three-member probe, which was established last March to investigate allegations of human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in Myanmar's Rakhine, Shan, and Kachin States, has conducted hundreds of interviews with refugees in Bangladesh, Thailand, and Malaysia that yielded "hundreds of credible accounts of the most harrowing nature", Darusman told the Human Rights Council on Monday.

"I'm afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended", said United Nations investigator Yanghee Lee.

Lee, who was banned from Myanmar past year after it claimed a previous report by her was biased and unfair, said she had seen evidence that Myanmar's military was continuing to target the Rohingya, razing their villages.

The Fact-Finding Mission said it found evidence of human rights violations against the Kachin, Shan and Rohingya minorities "in all likelihood amounting to crimes under worldwide law".

Just last week the Myanmar military released a lengthy denial stating that the Rohingya - who they refer to as "illegal Bengalis"- had burned down their own villages and that their own investigation had concluded "security personnel did not commit extrajudicial killings or sexually abuse and rape women".

Investigators also found that a certain social-media platform - it rhymes with lace hook - had a hand in helping spread hate speech in Myanmar and fuel unrest.

"We work with local communities and NGOs to increase awareness of our policies and reporting process, and are always looking for ways to improve people's experience on Facebook", the spokesperson said. Myanmar's national security adviser demanded "clear evidence".

"It has ... substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissention and conflict, if you will, within the public".

"I'm afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended", she said.

Yee gave the strongest call yet for accountability for the crimes committed in Rahkine since August 2017 that have driven more than 700,000 Rohingya over the border to Bangladesh. Beyond its global effort to bolster its content moderation by hiring more reviewers, it says it routinely removes hate speech content in the country, including Wirathu's account (although this only happened in late February), and that it has developed and promoted localized guidelines for using Facebook.

In Myanmar,