A report by Reuters documents many of the most horrifying cases of anti-Muslim and anti-Rohingya Facebook postings in Burma/Myanmar and reveals how Facebook’s response to complaints of hate speech on its Burmese site has been under-resourced and inadequate despite repeated warnings from independent observers, some delivered to Facebook executives at its head office in California.
In 2014 Facebook employed just one content reviewer who spoke Burmese. The next year, the company outsourced the work to an office of the global consultancy Accenture in the Philippines. Then there were four Burmese speakers covering 7m active users in Burma/Myanmar. The use of algorithms which scan potentially offensive images but can’t or don’t read associated text indicates some of the problems with so-called “AI approaches” to monitoring.
This article was first published in CPBF’s journal Free Press No 216.