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Monday, May 29, 2017

Daily Lessons from Life 29 May 2017 - Responsible Facebook...

"YANGON: Myanmar netizens were in an uproar on Monday (May 29) after Facebook seemingly banned people from posting the word "kalar" - often used as a slur against Muslims - at a time of rising Islamophobia in the country.

Facebook is under global pressure to clamp down on hate speech, violent threats or deliberately misleading information on their platform - with efforts showing varying degrees of success.

Dozens of users in Myanmar reported being temporarily barred from the site recently after posting the controversial term kalar, which is frequently used as an insult for the country's embattled Muslim minority.

Some users said they were even blocked after writing other words that include the same sound in the Burmese alphabet, highlighting the difficulties Facebook has monitoring millions of posts in multiple languages.

Aung Kaung Myat said he had been prevented from liking, posting and sharing content on the site for 24 hours last week for writing about the apparent ban, as had many of his friends.

"It is ridiculous," he said. "I became a victim of it myself when I wrote: 'Facebook is deleting the posts that include the word kalar'."

Yarzar Soe-Oo said he was barred on Friday after posting a jokey quip about eating Indian bean soup ("kalar pal hin") while sitting in a chair ("kalar htaing").

Kalar is a deeply controversial term in Myanmar, where it is used to refer to foreigners in general but most commonly to describe people of Indian origin and anything relating to their culture.

Over the years it has also been turned into a derogatory slur by Buddhist nationalists against Muslims.

Two angry Facebook users have responded to the apparent ban by creating an event called "We own Kalar" in protest. By early afternoon about 1,400 people had said they were interested in attending the gathering, scheduled for Wednesday in Yangon.

"Even though no action is taken against fake accounts which share hate speech and spew abuse... action is taken over (words we use every day)," said the organisers. "We own the word as we have been using it for decades and over the centuries.""

Honestly one has to applaud Facebook for trying to eliminate or prevent hate speeches or twisted fake news from its system that is used by hundreds of million around the world.

Now that the issues had been shared by good intentioned Myanmar users, Facebook can now tweak the algorithm so that "kalar + chair or + curry or well meaning words" will NOT be treated like "kalar" the slur!!

The same can be done for any one who kills a fellow human being n called himself a Buddhist must be called a murderer since a Buddhist could not even bear to kill a fish or a chicken for foods!! No discriminating to those terrorists n murderers who killed the defenceless n innocent people in the name of Islam are cowardice murderers. No of or but abt this.

So for those who want to claim that "kalar" is part of the language culture, look deeper n be sensitive abt it. Protesting without thought simply shows one-sided thinking. Not good enough for peace to exist so that prosperity can be pursued by the Myanmar people.

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