Hatebook: Why Facebook is losing the war on hate speech in Myanmar and A Genocide Incited on Facebook, With Posts From Myanmar’s Military report that western-owned social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are being used by the government to foment hatred of Rohingyas. Putting aside why the Burmese government is building up hatred of Rohingyas, why does the government think allowing and using western-owned social media sites is a good way of achieving its objectives?

I assume that if a government wanted to orchestrate hatred against a minority, it would prefer to allow older forms of media, such as television and radio, to be the main source of information, as it's easier to control who can broadcast their views on those mediums.

Likewise, I would assume that if the government wished to allow social media, it'd use companies controlled by China (eg Sina Weibo) which would have fewer ethical qualms than Facebook and Twitter and the United States government about the conflict.

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    "companies controlled by China (eg Sina Weibo) which would have fewer ethical qualms than Facebook and Twitter and the United States government" [citation-needed]
    – yannis
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 12:56
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    I would say that they use what is available to them. Facebook and Twitter may be more useful just on account of their popularity, and whatever anti-government message that comes with them is considered not worth the cost of banning popular apps. Also this kind of services are better at reinforcing behaviors (because you are linked to people who think like you and who will send you messages in line with your ideology) than at challenging them; if the government measures are already popular there is little risk with Facebook or Twitter.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 13:17
  • @yannis I’d point to @jack’s statements on Twitter, and Facebook’s statements in response to the CA scandal, and the actions accompanying it.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 21:07
  • Not answering the main question but since the Burmese government has a history of conflict with its ethnic-Chinese minority, it would be odd to rely on the Chinese to launch attacks on ethnic minorities. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_conflict_in_Myanmar en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokang_people
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 10:42
  • @StuartF relevant article: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/China–Myanmar_relations
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


Buddhist-Muslim conflict predates current governments

Islam, as anywhere in the world, didn't come to Indian subcontinent and SE Asia in general peacefully. It was spread with sword and terror, trough conquests. Unlike Christians and Jews (People of the Book) , Buddhists and practitioners of Hinduism didn't receive even minimal protection under Islamic rule. They were simply infidels or mushriks. As you could imagine, this did create some resentment :)

Now, situation in former Burma, now Myanmar is relatively simple . Majority of population is Buddhist, and they belong to Sino-Tibetan group of people. In previous times they would be classified as members of "yellow race", but this is considered politically non-correct these days. Muslim in Myanmar (predominately Rohingya people) belong to so called Indo-Aryan group of people, or more plainly they are closely related to population of Bangladesh and India to lesser extent. What is important is that we have two groups of people that look differently, have different religion and culture and very troubled history.

When you add to this already volatile mix accusations that Rohingya want to separate parts of Myanmar , that lots of them came from Bangladesh and are not native, and current worldwide rise of Islamism, then you could would understand that majority of Buddhists in Myanmar dislike Muslims with or without state propaganda. Or to put it more bluntly, incriminating Facebook posts and other material on social media are not work of some evil mastermind, but genuine feeling of Buddhist population in said country.

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