Rohingya refugees sue Meta
Rohingya refugees in the USA and the UK filed a class lawsuit against Meta Platforms, Inc. for inaction and support of hate speech, misinformation, and incitement of violence that fostered the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages in excess of US$150 billion, in addition to punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial. The complaint alleges that Meta designed its system and underlying algorithms ‘in a manner that rewarded users for posting and thereby encouraged and trained them to post increasingly extreme and outrageous hate speech, misinformation, and conspiracy theories attacking particular groups’.
This case relates to the charges of genocide faced by Myanmar at the International Court of Justice, where Meta, formerly Facebook, was requested to share data with UN investigators from the Independent Investigative Mechanism on Myanmar (IIMM). UN investigators said that the company had played a key role in spreading hate speech that fuelled the violence.