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Sri Lanka Accuses Facebook of Failing To Control Hate Speech That Contributed To Deadly Riots ( 76

The Sri Lankan government is accusing Facebook of failing to control rampant hate speech that it says contributed to anti-Muslim riots last week that left three people dead and the country under a state of emergency. The accusations come after the country blocked Facebook and several other platforms last week in an effort to prevent the spread of hate speech. The Guardian reports: On Thursday Fernando, along with the Sri Lankan prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and communications officials, will meet a Facebook team that has flown to Colombo. The Sri Lankans will demand a new, faster system for taking down posts flagged as a national security risk by agencies in the country. "Facebook is not reacting as fast as we have wanted it to react," Fernando said. "In the past it has taken various number of days to review [flagged posts] or even to take down the pages." On Tuesday he highlighted a tweet from a user who claimed to have reported a Facebook post in the Sinhala language that read "Kill all Muslims, don't even let an infant of the dogs escape." The user claimed he received a reply six days later saying the post did not contravene a specific Facebook community standard. The extremist leader Amith Weerasinghe, who was arrested last week in Kandy after being accused of helping to instigate the violence, had amassed nearly 150,000 followers on his Facebook page before it was taken down last week.
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Sri Lanka Accuses Facebook of Failing To Control Hate Speech That Contributed To Deadly Riots

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    As much as facebook deserves all the hate it gets, and as amusing as it is that they are now being held accountable to censorship they never should have started dabbling in, how is a riot facebook's fault? The sri lanka government ought to blame themselves long before they blame facebook for their incompetence

    • Why don't they just build a Great Wall of Sri Lanka, if they want to have control of what their "subjects" get to see and hear?

      • That was supposed to be Great Firewall of Sri Lanka.

        Proofreading and previewing fails hard when posting whilst stoned. :D

  • by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @04:56PM (#56261551) Journal
    Facebook has a horrible moderating problem. I was recently ban for posting there now exists a blood test for Down's syndrome that works at 12 weeks so we can rid the world of this horrible mental handicap. Guess someone at facebook wants more mentally handicapped people.
    • by WilliamGeorge ( 816305 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @05:07PM (#56261599)

      Have you asked folks with Down's syndrome if they'd prefer to be dead? Or to have never been born? Who are you to judge whether they should be given the chance to live, once conceived?

      Now mind you, I don't think Facebook should have banned you for discussing this. Freedom of speech, the ability to discuss ideas (good or bad), and open dialog about even the hardest subjects is critical to having a free society. I may oppose your view, and I might after a while choose not to listen, but you absolutely should be able to voice it!

      • Downs syndrome is a lot more than a mental handicap. Seizers and heart disease occur for about half of all Downs afflicted people, and there are lots of other complications as well. Your idea of somebody with downs is a reasonably lucky person, the unlucky ones don't live long enough, or spend much of their lives in the hospital. More over, do you have any idea what it's like to have a child with Downs? I fault no one who chooses to abort such a child.
    • I contest the idea that Downs Syndrome is a "horrible mental handicap". Sounds like IQ supremacy to me.

      • I contest the idea that Downs Syndrome is a "horrible mental handicap". Sounds like IQ supremacy to me.

        Are you trolling, or did you drink literally all of the kool-aid? Of course it's a mental handicap. Horribleness, of course, is subjective.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Its asinine that some people think they have a right to hate speech. You don't, and if you think you do then you have the right of my foot up your ass.

  • To be fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @06:01PM (#56261869)

    During the last decades, Sri Lanka didn't need facebook to have bloody riots.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @06:25PM (#56262003) Journal
    The conflict between muslims and buddhists in Sri Lanka or between muslims and hindhus in India or between muslims and christians in the balkans all have centuries long history.

    "This is the bridge where they killed 200 of our folks" "Oh, Thats terrible! I must have missed the news, when did it happen? Your family is safe?". "247 years ago, In three years we are planning a 250th year revenge attacks".

    Something going on for 1000 years or 600 years, and suddenly Facebook is to blame.

    • If some one posts on FB: "lets gather tomorrow and kill all XYZ in town Bla" and FB gets informed to get the post down, and FB does not take the post down and suddenly in Bla you have a riot killing dozens of XYZ, then yes. Facebook is to blame. Just like the rioters.

      • "FB gets informed".... Why sudden switch to passive voice buddy?

        You don't want to draw attention to who is asking FB to pull posts down? Is it the police? Can police randomly order FB to take down posts? Or it has to follow the laws of the country? Do they have to get a court order?

        FB did not take down the post. A riot happened. People got killed. Arrest FB executives, charge them with aiding and abetting mass murder, as accessory after the fact, prove in a court and convict them. If the charge wont stic

        • The FB executives don't reside in Sri Lanka, and the people are already dead.
          So you prefer to act after the riots instead of before them?

  • by Mister Liberty ( 769145 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @06:40PM (#56262083)
    ... controlling speech. Period.
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      ... controlling speech. Period.

      And Facebook does that how?

      Are the Like police going to arrest me for voicing a contrary opinion... Am I to be thrown in the Poke-y for posting an anti-Facebook comment without even a trial in the News Feed court?

      Or maybe Facebook is a private organisation free to set their own rules and if they dont want you there, they're free to tell you to bugger off which is in no way, in any country, impinging on your freedom of expression.

      If you mean that Facebook has no business "influencing" opinions...

  • Always a good idea that solves the problem.


Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"