Published On : Tue, Mar 13th, 2018

‘Responding To The Situation In Sri Lanka’: Facebook Says It Is In Contact With SL Government To Support Efforts To Remove Hate Speech

Social media giant Facebook has said it is in contact with Sri Lankan authorities to identify and remove hate speech and incitements to violence after Sri Lanka banned social media in the wake of sectarian violence in the hill capital of Kandy.

“We have clear rules against hate speech and incitement to violence and work hard to keep it off our platform. We are responding to the situation in Sri Lanka and are in contact with the government and non-governmental organizations to support efforts to identify and remove such content,” Facebook told CNBC in an emailed statement.

On March 7, the government pulled the plug on social media platforms Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram in a bid to prevent the spread of hate speech and incitements to violence against minority Muslims.

The events were sparked by the death of a Sinhalese truck driver at the hand of four Muslim men on Saturday (3). A Facebook ‘call-to-arms’ resulted in a mob of Sinhalese descending on Kandy, torching Muslim establishments and homes.

At least two people died, several were injured and over 140 arrested in the aftermath of the week of violence, that saw the government impose a State of Emergency over the island, that is still to be lifted.

The ban on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp too, are still in place, to the chagrin of rights activists, who say people are deprived of means of communications during these troublesome times.

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