•   
  •   
  •   

World Facebook Tried to Ban Myanmar’s Military. But Its Own Algorithm Kept Promoting Pages Supporting Them, Report Says

21:05  24 june  2021
21:05  24 june  2021 Source:   time.com

Myanmar releases US journalist Nathan Maung, who was allegedly tortured in prison

  Myanmar releases US journalist Nathan Maung, who was allegedly tortured in prison American citizen Nathan Maung, who has been detained in Myanmar since March 9, was released and deported to the United States on Tuesday after charges against him were dropped, his lawyer said. © Handout Journalist Nathan Maung, left, with his colleague Hanthar Nyein. Nathan Maung is co-founder and editor​-in-chief of the Myanmar online news site Kamayut Media and had spent more than two months incarcerated in the country's notorious Insein Prison, north of Yangon. He was arrested alongside co-founder and producer Hanthar Nyein, a Myanmar national, as security forces raided their offices in early March.

Facebook Tried to Ban Myanmar ’ s Military . But Its Own Algorithm Kept Promoting Pages Supporting Them , Report Says . YANGON, MYANMAR - 2021/03/06: Myanmar military with military trucks seen during a demonstration against the military coup. In April, Facebook introduced new Myanmar -specific rules against praising or supporting the military for arrests or acts of violence against civilians. It also banned praise of protesters who attack the military or security forces. But according to Global Witness, Facebook ’s own recommendation algorithms have been inviting users

Facebook on Thursday said it had banned the Myanmar military from using its Facebook and Instagram platforms with immediate effect, as pro-democracy demonstrators continued to stage rallies to protest the military seizing power. "Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have "We believe the risks of allowing the Tatmadaw ( Myanmar army) on Facebook and Instagram are too great." The army seized power this month after alleging fraud in a Nov. 8 election swept by Aung San Suu Kyi’ s National League for Democracy (NLD), detaining her and much of the party leadership.

Facebook promoted pages that shared pro-military propaganda in Myanmar, even after it banned accounts linked to the military from the platform due to human rights abuses and the risk of violence, according to a report by the human rights group Global Witness.

a car parked on the side of the street: YANGON, MYANMAR - 2021/03/06: Myanmar military with military trucks seen during a demonstration against the military coup. Myanmar police attacked protesters with rubber bullets, live ammunition, tear gas and stun bombs in response to anti military coup protesters on Saturday. Myanmar's military detained State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi on February 01, 2021 and declared a state of emergency while seizing the power in the country for a year after losing the election against the National League for Democracy (NLD). (Photo by Santosh Krl/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) © SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett—© 2021 SOPA Images YANGON, MYANMAR - 2021/03/06: Myanmar military with military trucks seen during a demonstration against the military coup. Myanmar police attacked protesters with rubber bullets, live ammunition, tear gas and stun bombs in response to anti military coup protesters on Saturday. Myanmar's military detained State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi on February 01, 2021 and declared a state of emergency while seizing the power in the country for a year after losing the election against the National League for Democracy (NLD). (Photo by Santosh Krl/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Myanmar’s armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, overthrew the country’s civilian government in February, claiming that elections in November 2020 had been rigged. Later that month, Facebook said it had decided to ban the Tatmadaw from its platform, citing the military’s history of human rights abuses, record of spreading misinformation and the increased risk of violence after the coup.

Myanmar migrant workers work abroad to feed their families. Now they can't send the money home

  Myanmar migrant workers work abroad to feed their families. Now they can't send the money home Su and her husband are among the 1.7 million Myanmar nationals working in neighboring Thailand, according to the Migrant Workers Group, and part of a vital network of overseas workers who support relatives at home. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates some $1.4 billion was sent to Myanmar in 2015 from overseas workers. © Bex Wright/CNN Ma Oo, migrant rights advocate in Bangkok, Thailand in May 2021 The current situation has left thousands of migrants living with constant worry not just for the financial well being of their loved ones, but for their safety.

Facebook said on Wednesday that it had barred Myanmar ’ s military from its platforms, weeks after the country’s fragile democratic government was overthrown in a military coup. Mr. Farmaner welcomed Facebook ’s latest decision, but said the social network should have gone further and banned the pages of companies owned by the Tatmadaw. Facebook took pains on Wednesday to clarify the rationale for a ban that could have long-lasting political ramifications for the company.

But Its Own Algorithm Kept Promoting Pages Supporting Them , Report Says . June 24, 20215 min read softengoxford. June 24, 2021 at 05:58PM. In April, Facebook introduced new Myanmar -specific rules against praising or supporting the military for arrests or acts of violence against civilians. It also banned praise of protesters who attack the military or security forces. But according to Global Witness, Facebook ’ s own recommendation algorithms have been inviting users to like pages that share pro- military propaganda that violates the platform’ s rules.

In April, Facebook introduced new Myanmar-specific rules against praising or supporting the military for arrests or acts of violence against civilians. It also banned praise of protesters who attack the military or security forces. But according to Global Witness, Facebook’s own recommendation algorithms have been inviting users to like pages that share pro-military propaganda that violates the platform’s rules.

The report highlights the extent to which Facebook is still struggling to police its own platform in Myanmar, where in 2018 the social media company admitted it could have done more to prevent incitement of violence in the run-up to a military campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority the previous year. U.N. investigators said the campaign, which involved mass murder, rape and arson, was carried out with “genocidal intent.” More than 1.3 million people fled the violence across the border to Bangladesh, where many remain in refugee camps, according to the World Health Organization. Myanmar has repeatedly denied that the campaign was genocidal.

UN proposal seeks arms embargo and democracy in Myanmar

  UN proposal seeks arms embargo and democracy in Myanmar UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly is expected to approve a resolution calling on Myanmar’s junta to restore the country’s democratic transition and for all countries “to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar,” diplomats said. The draft resolution also condemns deadly violence by security forces and calls on the junta to unconditionally release the ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint “and all those who have been arbitrarily detained, charged or arrested.

Facebook bans the Myanmar military from using its Facebook and Instagram platforms with immediate effect, as pro-democracy demonstrators continue to stage rallies to protest against the military seizing power. Facebook is widely used in Myanmar and has been one of the ways the junta has communicated with people, despite an official move to ban on the platform in the early days of the coup. Facebook in recent years has engaged with civil rights activists and democratic political parties in Myanmar and pushed back against the military after facing international criticism for failing

But Its Own Algorithm Kept Promoting Pages Supporting Them , Report Says .

Read more: Facebook’s Ban of Myanmar’s Military Will Be a Test of the True Power of Social Media Platforms

Since the period of violence against the Rohingya people, Facebook has hired more than 100 Burmese-speaking content moderators to monitor the platform for hate speech, and has built algorithms to detect hatred. But observers say hate and incitement to violence are still widespread on the platform in the wake of the military coup, in part because those algorithms are still rudimentary, and because the platform is not doing enough to stop repeat offenders from returning after being banned.

“This points to Facebook’s continued failure to effectively enforce their policies,” says Victoire Rio of the Tech Accountability Initiative, who has been engaging with Facebook on harmful content in Myanmar since 2016.

The pages that Global Witness found Facebook was recommending hosted posts including a “wanted” poster bearing the name and two photographs of a woman, offering a $10 million reward for her capture “dead or alive.” The post claimed the woman was among protesters who burned down a factory, Global Witness said. “This girl is the one who committed arson in Hlaing Tharyar. Her account has been deactivated. But she cannot run,” the caption read, according to the report.

Photos Show Smoldering Ruins of Myanmar Town, Burned to Ground by Government Troops

  Photos Show Smoldering Ruins of Myanmar Town, Burned to Ground by Government Troops "We think it isn't over. We will shift to other villages. Even if we go back to our village, there is no place to stay because everything is burnt," a villager told the Associated Press.The unnamed resident of the now-destroyed Kinma village in central Myanmar said he believed military forces came to search for members of a village defense force in opposition of the country's ruling military junta. The local defense force told residents of the troops' arrival beforehand and after homes were searched, the troops destroyed the village.

Facebook on Thursday said it had banned Myanmar ’ s military from its platforms, Facebook and Instagram. Facebook said in a blog post, "Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban .” In 2018, Facebook banned Myanmar ’ s army chief and 19 other senior officers and organizations, and took down hundreds of accounts run by military members for spreading false or propaganda content. Ahead of the most recent November elections, Facebook announced it had taken down a network of 70 fake accounts and pages operated by members of the

Facebook and Instagram have indefinitely banned the Myanmar military (or Tatmadaw) from the platforms. Military -controlled state and media entities are no longer welcome on the platform following this month' s coup either. Nor are ads from commercial entities linked to the military . The blanket ban on the military follows other actions Facebook has carried out to stem the flow of misinformation since the coup. It banned a TV network with links to the Tatmadaw and took down the military ' s main Facebook page .

The pages also shared a video of a forced confession by a political prisoner, Global Witness said, as well as a video of an airstrike by the Myanmar military against rebel forces, accompanied by laughter and a caption reading: “Now, you are getting what you deserve.” Global Witness also found several examples on the pages of content that supports violence against civilians, the campaign group said.

“We didn’t have to dig hard to find this content—in fact it was incredibly easy,” Global Witness said in its report. The group said it found the content after typing “Tatmadaw” into the platform’s search box in Burmese, and clicking “like” on the first page that appeared. The rights group then “liked” the first five “related pages” that Facebook suggested. Three of those five pages contained content that violated Facebook’s policies, the report said.

Facebook has removed some of the posts and pages in the Global Witness report, a spokesperson for the company said.

In a statement, Facebook said: “Our teams continue to closely monitor the situation in Myanmar in real-time and take action on any posts, Pages or Groups that break our rules. We proactively detect 99 percent of the hate speech removed from Facebook in Myanmar, and our ban of the Tatmadaw and repeated disruption of Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior has made it harder for people to misuse our services to spread harm. This is a highly adversarial issue and we continue to take action on content that violates our policies to help keep people safe.”

The UN has condemned Myanmar’s military coup. Will that matter?

  The UN has condemned Myanmar’s military coup. Will that matter? “We cannot live in a world where military coups become a norm,” the UN Secretary-General said.The condemnation comes as UN officials express concern that the nation is on the brink of civil war and as humanitarian conditions worsen for civilians. While significant, though, the vote itself revealed complicated geopolitics that may stymie a more forceful international response to the situation.

Read more: Facebook Says It’s Removing More Hate Speech Than Ever Before. But There’s a Catch

But activists say Facebook’s statistics mask broader failures. “While Facebook proudly claims that it is self-detecting a higher percentage of the content it removes, this does not account for the very large volume of problematic content that continues to span the platform undetected,” says Rio, although she notes that Facebook is now removing much more problematic content than it used to.

One weakness in Facebook’s approach to problem accounts so far is that repeat offenders are able to easily return to the platform with new profiles, even after being banned, Rio says.

“It is very likely that the admins behind these pages are known problematic actors, posting problematic content not just on the pages but also on their profiles,” Rio tells TIME. “Facebook has very little capacity to deal with recidivism, so it’s often the same people coming back after getting banned, often with the same name and the same photo. Though Facebook has policies against recidivism and the use of multiple accounts, it is not enforcing them,” she says.

Jade mining in Myanmar is a $31 billion industry, and it's now in the hands of the corrupt military junta .
A military coup in February has given Burmese junta leaders free rein of the jade mines in Myanmar, according to a Global Witness report.Myanmar's military has long been a major player in the jade industry, with close ties to giant mining conglomerates that mostly harvest from the jade-rich township of Hpakant.

usr: 1
This is interesting!