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Facebook becomes outlet for religious anger in Myanmar

Published on Jul 11, 2014 4:46 PM
 
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo on Aug 14, 2013. Facebook is coming under scrutiny in Myanmar as an unwitting platform for a rising tide of hate speech following a new wave of Buddhist-Muslim bloodshed in the former junta-run country. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

YANGON - Facebook is coming under scrutiny in Myanmar as an unwitting platform for a rising tide of hate speech following a new wave of Buddhist-Muslim bloodshed in the former junta-run country.

The social media site is hugely popular among netizens in the once-isolated nation, where it has become the prime means of sharing news and information for a small but growing Internet community.

But new freedoms under a quasi-civilian government have opened the flood gates for incendiary Internet comment.

A blog alleging the rape of a Buddhist woman by two Muslim men sparked an Internet firestorm last week that led to a riot in the second-largest city Mandalay - the clearest link yet between surging hate speech online and clashes on the streets.

 
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