SaveSave story

Facebook fueled Rohingya crisis, U.N. investigators say

Rohingya refugees
Rohingya women and children at a Bangladeshi refugee camp. Photo: Masfiqur Sohan / NurPhoto via Getty Image

Human rights investigators at the United Nations are saying that Facebook played "a determining role" in disseminating hateful rhetoric in Myanmar, Reuters reports. Close to 670,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees have fled atrocities in Myanmar's Rakhine State and the U.N. is investigating a possible genocide there.

Why it matters: It's the latest accusation from around the world on Big Tech's influence and potential to cause harm.

“Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar. It was used to convey public messages but we know that the ultra-nationalist Buddhists have their own Facebooks and are really inciting a lot of violence and a lot of hatred against the Rohingya or other ethnic minorities. I’m afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended.”
— U.N. Myanmar investigator Yanghee Lee to Reuters

Facebook's response...

  • "We take this incredibly seriously and have worked with experts in Myanmar for several years to develop safety resources and counter-speech campaigns," a Facebook spokesperson said.
  • Facebook has created a Safety Page for Myanmar, which is a locally illustrated version of their Community Standards, and is working with advocacy groups on the ground, urging them to report content so Facebook can remove it swiftly.
Axios 4 hours ago
SaveSave story

John Dowd resigns as Trump's personal lawyer

Photo: Kevin Dietsch, Pool / Getty Images

President Trump's personal lawyer John Dowd has resigned as the head of the president's legal team for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, per the NYT. A White House official confirmed the report to Axios.

The backdrop: Dowd spent last weekend personally attacking Mueller — going so far as to encourage an end to his investigation. He later told Axios' Mike Allen that his statement was "nothing against Bob," adding, "On St. Patrick's Day, can't an old Marine make a prayer? No big deal." After the news broke of his resignation, Dowd told NBC's Kristin Welker, "I love the president and wish him very well."

Ben Geman 4 hours ago
SaveSave story

Global carbon emissions are on their way back up

Chinese coal-fired plant from 2015 with lots of emissions. The country has made efforts to lower its emissions since then
Smoke billows from a coal-fired generator at a steel factory in Hebei, China, in 2015. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

A new International Energy Agency report finds that worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from energy — which are the lion's share of global emissions — ticked upward by 1.4% in 2017 after a three-year plateau.

Why it matters: The findings underscore the immense challenge of reigning in heat-trapping emissions in an increasingly energy-hungry world. Carbon dioxide output is on pace to eventually bring about global warming levels that blow past the targets of the Paris climate agreement.