Why the Rohingya Muslims’ $150B lawsuit against Meta will be an uphill battle

Mark Zuckerberg might be looking out for a shiny future in the metaverse, but the company’s past mistakes continue to haunt him.

Amidst the ongoing Rohingya genocide in Myanmar, a number of refugees from the community currently based in the US and UK have sued Meta to the tune of $150 billion, for failing to clamp down on hate speech against the minority group.

Before we look at the allegations against the company, a quick recap of what happened.


In 2017, the Burmese military forces began a ‘clearance operation’ to drive out more than half a million Rohingya Muslims from the country. The forces used intimidation techniques including injuring and killing people from the community. According to a report by the Guardian, more than 25,000 Rohingyas were killed, and more than 700,000 of them had fled to Bangladesh by 2018.

What was Facebook’s role in it?

Facebook has been one of the major drivers of the internet in the county. After first launching in 2011, by 2020 it had 22.3 million users in Myanmar — almost 40% of the population. That means a huge chunk of the population got their news and other information through the platform.

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