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Facebook apologises for role in 2018 Sri Lanka unrest
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HONG KONG: Facebook has apologised for its role within the deadly communal unrest that shook Sri Lanka two years ago after an investigation found that hate speech and rumours spread on the platform may have led to violence against Muslims.
The riots in early 2018 erupted as anti-Muslim anger was whipped abreast of social media, forcing the Sri Lankan government to impose a state of emergency and block access to Facebook.
The tech giant commissioned a search into the part it’s going to have played, and investigators said incendiary content on Facebook may have led to violence against Muslims.
“We deplore the misuse of our platform,” Facebook said during a statement to Bloomberg News after the findings were released on Tuesday. “We recognise, and apologise for, the very real human rights impacts that resulted.” a minimum of three people were killed and 20 injured within the 2018 unrest, during which mosques and Muslim businesses were burned, mainly within the central a part of the Sinhalese Buddhist-majority nation.
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The hate speech and rumours spread on Facebook “may have led to ‘offline’ violence”, consistent with Article One, the human rights consultancy hired to conduct the investigation.