In a new lawsuit, Meta is accused of flooding Facebook with violent and hateful posts from Ethiopia.
The lawsuit, filed in Kenya, claims the social media giant’s actions fueled a civil war between the government and rebel forces from the northern Tigray region that has killed thousands and displaced millions.
it is opposed Yuanwhich owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, was developed by two Ethiopian researchers and the Kenyan rights group Katiba Institute.
They argue that Facebook’s recommender system amplifies violent posts Ethiopiaincluding several before the murder of one of the researchers’ father, Abraham Mearag.
The lawsuit describes Facebook posts from October 2021 that used racial slurs to refer to Mr. Meareg, shared his address and called for his execution.
Mr. Mearag reported the problems to Facebook at the time, but the company declined to remove them immediately or for a period of time
There was no case at all, the lawsuit claims.
Meta is also accused of failing to take reasonable care in training its algorithms to identify dangers
positions and hire staff to moderate content in the languages covered in Nairobi.
What is Meta’s comment on these statements?
Hate speech and incitement to violence violate Facebook and Instagram rules, the company said.
“We’ve invested heavily in our team and technology to help us find and remove this content,” said Meta spokesperson Erin McPike.
“We employ staff with local knowledge and expertise and continue to develop our capabilities to catch offending content in Ethiopia’s most widely spoken language,” he added.
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staff in Nairobi and set up an estimated $2bn (£1.6bn) compensation fund for victims of violence instigated on Facebook.
The case echoes allegations that Meta has faced over the years over atrocities committed on its platform, including
Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Cambodia.
Last year, the company’s independent oversight board recommended a review of how Facebook and Instagram were being used to spread content that increased the risk of violence in Ethiopia.