Rohingya refugees have sued the social media giant Facebook for $150bn over claims the social network is failing to stem hate speech on its platform, exacerbating violence against the vulnerable Myanmar minority.
The complaint, lodged in a California court, said the algorithms that power the US-based company promote disinformation and extreme thought that translates into real-world violence.
“Facebook is like a robot programmed with a singular mission: to grow,” the court document states.
“The undeniable reality is that Facebook’s growth, fueled by hate, division, and misinformation, has left hundreds of thousands of devastated Rohingya lives in its wake.”
The mainly Muslim group faces widespread discrimination in Myanmar, where they are despised as interlopers despite having lived in the country for generations.
A military-backed campaign that the United Nations said amounted to genocide saw hundreds of thousands of Rohingya driven across the border into Bangladesh in 2017, where they have been living in sprawling refugee camps ever since.