Tamil Information Centre
User Name:   
Password:   
  Remember Me  
Sign up  |  Forget password
Home   
Search
    Contact us
After Sri Lanka riots, Facebook staff to learn Sinhala insults to curb extremist content on platform
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)

Three months after Sri Lanka was rocked by deadly anti-Muslim riots fuelled by online vitriol, Facebook is training its staff to identify inflammatory content in the country’s local languages.

The social network has been seeking penance in Sri Lanka after authorities blocked Facebook in March as incendiary posts by Buddhist hardliners fanned religious violence that left three people dead and reduced hundreds of mosques, homes and businesses to ashes.

Until the week-long ban, appeals to Facebook to act against the contagion of hate speech had been met with deafening silence, at a time when the California-based tech giant was reeling from unprecedented global scrutiny over fake news and user privacy.

“We did make mistakes and we were slow,” Facebook spokeswoman Amrit Ahuja told AFP in Colombo.

The dearth of staff fluent in Sinhala -- the language spoken by Sri Lanka’s largest ethnic group -- compounded the issue, with government officials and activists saying the oversight allowed extremist content to flourish undetected on the platform.

Ahuja said Facebook was committed to hiring more Sinhala speakers but declined to say how many were currently employed in Sri Lanka.

“This is the problem we are trying to address with Facebook. They need more Sinhala resources”, said the island’s telecommunications minister Harin Fernando.

Since the violence broke out in March, two high-level delegations from the company have visited Sri Lanka, where ethnic divisions linger after decades of war, to assure the government of its intent.

Ahuja said Facebook was working with civil society organisations to familiarise its staff with Sinhala slurs and racist epithets.

Complex local nuances have added to the challenge. The word for “brother” in Tamil -- also an official language in the country -- can be a derogatory term in Sinhala when a slight inflection is used.

Fernando said the decision to impose an island-wide blackout on Facebook -- used by one in three Sri Lankans -- was taken as a last resort to prevent an escalation of violence.

Sinhala extremists used the social network to recruit rioters and organise their travel to the troubled area, from where violence later spread.

In addition to government warnings, Fernando told AFP that Facebook users lodged thousands of complaints over extremist content, but were met with silence.

“It was not something that I liked doing. But if we didn’t block Facebook, the violence would have spread out of control,” he said.

Eventually the army was given special powers to restore order under the first state of emergency declared in the 21-million-strong nation since the end of the civil war in 2009.

Source: Hindustan Times

Share on Facebook


 Latest 25 News/ பிந்திய 25 செய்திகள்:
Tamil Information Centre (TIC) expresses grief over brutal, cowardly attacks on churches and other places in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
அனுபவம் மிக்க சிரேஸ்ட தொகுப்பாளர் N.T Jegan அவர்களோடு info4tamils இணைய வழி தொலைக்காட்சியினூடக கண்காட்சி பற்றிய கலந்துரையாடல்
பிரசுரிக்கபட்ட திகதி: 07/06/2018 (வியாழக்கிழமை)
இலங்கைத் தமிழர்கள்: காலவரையறையற்றதொரு பாரம்பரியம் என்ற கண்காட்சிதொடர்பான தமிழ் தகவல் நடுவத்தின் (TIC) உத்தியோகபூர்வ அறிக்கை
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
கண்ணீர் அஞ்சலி
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
Report reveals bone samples belong to 1499-1719 AD era
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
Northern Province’s Economic Development Framework
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
OMP welcomes inclusion of its interim relief proposals in budget
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
Raghavan to take public concerns to UNHrc
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Saturday)
Jaffna to get Olympic-standard aquatic complex
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Saturday)
Treat women and girls with respect - EDITORIAL
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Saturday)
Vandalizing archaeological sites - Cabinet approves upping fines, jail terms
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Saturday)
Right time to abolish executive presidency - JVP
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Saturday)
International Court Of Justice & The ‘Ceylon Tamils’
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Saturday)
British Tamil Students Build War-Torn Mullaitivu's First Media Centre
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Friday)
Joint Press Release: Sri Lanka sends war crimes denier to Geneva as part of official delegation.
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
Karannagoda drags Gota into mass murder case
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
Tamils’ Hopes Fading: Every Village Is Sinhalese? Rāghavan Sacked?
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Sunday)
106 Tamil Diaspora Groups Jointly Urge UNHRC Not to Give any more Additional Time to Sri Lanka - Urge to Refer to ICC
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Sunday)
Ten Years After A War Without Witnesses: Global Tamil Forum Calls To Ensure Sri Lanka Firmly Remains On The UNHRC Agenda
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Sunday)
Human Rights Council 40: UK Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Protection of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Saturday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, while speaking at the Kilinochchi District development review meeting, blamed the Northern Provincial Council authorities, saying that they have almost become inactive towards the problems faced by the people in North.
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Friday)
Ranil blasts Northern Provincial Council
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Friday)
Approval for TRC mechanism Navi Pillay blasts Govt
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
A New ‘Washington Consensus’ ‘Indo–Pacific’ and India’s Emerging Role
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
US resumes Millennium Challenge aid to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
Donate
Support our work to bring rights to life in any way big or small
 Amount:

Donate using PayPal

Select dates to view
past and future events
<<<May - 2019>>>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 
 Stand up for Rights and Justice
Grant 18 year old Saudi Woman Rahaf asylum in the UK
Read more...
Take Action
Call to Ban Monsanto’s pesticide
Trump’s child hostages
Set Noura Free -- sign now!
Latest Publication
Proto Sumero Dravidian: The Common Origin of Sumerian and Dravidian Languages Conference Report:

Proto Sumero Dravidian: The Common Origin of Sumerian and Dravidian Languages

Read more...

Thiruvalluvar
About us
Site Help
Getting in touch
Other
Facebook Youtube twitter
Sitemap  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions
Copyright © 2019 ticonline.org, All rights reserved.