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:
China projects steam ahead
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
Now, Wiggy locks horns with Reggie Allegation about a plan to build Buddhist temples in K’nochchi:
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
Glyphosate: First shipment due in October ‘No scientific proof it can cause cancer’
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
Return to the Rural
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
Mannar and Thalaimannar ‘miss’ the strategic advantage drive The train to nowhere
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
Controversy over media reports of China printing currency notes for Sri Lanka
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
Clashes at Welikada Prison: 11 injured and 52 inmates transferred
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
Don't tell me it's a 'fact' that all Muslims in South Asia are descended from rapists Some Pakistanis and Indian Muslims claim Arab ancestry, which is often a huge source of contention.
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Monday)
CID manhunt for fugitive ‘Navy Sampath’ ends
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Sunday)
Grave secrets: Behind the skeletal excavations in Mannar
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Sunday)
Sri Lanka’s Democracy: Very critical challenges ahead
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Sunday)
MR in three weddings and three-hour CID interrogation
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Sunday)
Action against Vijayakala: AG advises Speaker
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Sunday)
Open economy destroyed Lankan values: Cardinal
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Sunday)
Possibility of Mahinda Rajapaksa contesting next presidential election
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Sunday)
Water supply to Vavuniya District increased by 30%, says Minister Hakeem
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka replaces 'Siva's footprint' board to 'Buddha's footprint'
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka Searching for Mum, Series 1 Episode 1 of 2
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Thursday)
Japan shifts focus of its development assistance to Indo-Pacific
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Wednesday)
No need for military aid from US when there is no war – Nalaka Thero
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Celebrated war hero now sells fish
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Keith Noyahr Incident: Mahinda summoned by the CID
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Wednesday)
HALO expects to free Jaffna from mines by late 2019
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Wednesday)
‘Navy Sampath’ remanded until August 29
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka navy chief funded mass-murder suspect: CID
Published Date: 07/06/2018 (Wednesday)
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
<<<Aug - 2018>>>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
   1
2
34
56789
10
11
1213
14
15161718
19
2021222324
25
262728293031 
 Stand up for Rights and Justice
Call to Ban Monsanto’s pesticide
Read more...
Take Action
Trump’s child hostages
Set Noura Free -- sign now!
Tamil men accuse continuing torture in Sri Lanka Take a stand against torture and urge UN Human Rights commission for human rights to investigate
Latest Publication
Armament for Repression: Militarisation of Sri Lanka Conference Report:

Armament for Repression: Militarisation of Sri Lanka

Read more...

Thiruvalluvar
About us
Site Help
Getting in touch
Other
Facebook Youtube twitter
Sitemap  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions
Copyright © 2018 ticonline.org, All rights reserved.