November 25, 2020
SumOfUs Demands Mark Zuckerberg cooperate with international court after platform’s role in sparking mass atrocities
SAN FRANCISCO-- Myanmar has recently been brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to determine if the country’s military leaders committed genocide against its Rohingya people. The case, launched by The Gambia, is in connection to a horrific assault launched by the Burmese military against the Rohingya -- torching entire villages, raping women and children, and slaughtering families. Over 800,000 Rohingya were forced to flee to Bangladesh where they now live in precarious conditions.
But the Burmese military are not the only ones responsible for what the UN human rights chief has called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” At the height of the violence, hate speech and disinformation about the Rohingya was rampant on Facebook. According to a UN body, as well as Facebook’s own internal investigation, the platform played a significant role in fanning the flames of this genocide. To date however, Facebook has refused to comply with requests to turn over internal documentation of the posts, and could now face a subpoena.
SumOfUs, a global consumer advocacy organization and online community with nearly 17 million members worldwide, has been actively pressuring social media platforms, including Facebook, to prevent the spread of dangerous disinformation like that around the Rohingya genocide.
“Mark Zuckerberg knows that Facebook helped these monsters trigger a genocide, but instead of leading the charge for justice, he's doing everything he can to cover the fact that he has blood on his hands,” said Emma Ruby-Sachs, executive director of SumOfUs. “The platform knows it must do more to address its hate speech and disinformation crisis. They can start by owning their role in this horrific genocide and finally provide the evidence that will help bring justice to the Rohingya community.”
SumOfUs has already gathered over 63,000 signatures on a petition urging Zuckerberg to provide this evidence that could help prove genocidal intent by the Burmese military. Additionally, the organization ran a full page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle today highlighing Facebook’s role in inciting violence against the ethnic minority group, and pressuring Zuckerberg to stop covering up genocide.
Last Wednesday there was a formal hearing on the Gambia’s petition against Facebook, and it’s expected a decision will be made in the coming weeks. Zuckerberg must acknowledge his role in these atrocities and cooperate in bringing justice to the Rohingya people.
For more information or to arrange an interview with a SumOfUs spokesperson, please contact Rewan Al-Haddad: firstname.lastname@example.org
SumOfUS is an advocacy nonprofit organization and online community with nearly 17 million members worldwide. We combine and amplify consumers’ voices to make sure regulators and corporations around the world hear them. Together, our community of millions act as a global consumer watchdog – running and winning campaigns to hold the biggest companies in the world accountable. More information can be found at www.SumOfUs.org.