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Facebook 'has been turned into a beast'

Facebook has been turned into a "beast", according to an official representing the United Nations (UN).

The social networking site has come under fire from one of the team investigating allegations of genocide in Myanmar, who says Facebook has played a "determining role" in stirring up anger against Rohingya Muslims in the Asian country.

Marzuki Darusman, the chairman of the UN's Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar, said social media platforms like Facebook had "substantively contributed to the level of acrimony" towards Rohingya Muslims.

He continued: "Hate speech is certainly, of course, a part of that.

"As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook and Facebook is social media."

And Yanghee Lee, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, has claimed that Facebook is now being used for different purposes than was originally intended to be the case.

She explained: "We know that the ultra-nationalist Buddhists have their own Facebooks and are really inciting a lot of violence and a lot of hatred against the Rohingya or other ethnic minorities.

"I'm afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended."

Meanwhile, a Facebook spokeswoman has insisted that there is "no place for hate speech" on its site.

Speaking to the BBC, she explained: "We take this incredibly seriously and have worked with experts in Myanmar for several years to develop safety resources and counter-speech campaigns.

"This work includes a dedicated Safety Page for Myanmar, a locally illustrated version of our Community Standards, and regular training sessions for civil society and local community groups across the country.

"Of course, there is always more we can do and we will continue to work with local experts to help keep our community safe."

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