Facebook staff to learn Sinhala insults after Lanka riots

Jun 08, 2018, 08:39 IST | Agencies

The dearth of staff fluent in Sinhala compounded the issue, with government officials and activists saying the oversight allowed extremist content to flourish undetected on the platform

Facebook staff to learn Sinhala insults after Lanka riots
Three people died in the anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka. File pic

Three months after Sri Lanka was rocked by deadly anti-Muslim riots fuelled by online vitriol, Facebook is training its staff to identify inflammatory content in the country's local languages. The social network has been seeking penance in Sri Lanka after authorities blocked Facebook in March as incendiary posts by Buddhist hardliners fanned religious violence that left three people dead and reduced hundreds of mosques, homes and businesses to ashes.

The dearth of staff fluent in Sinhala compounded the issue, with government officials and activists saying the oversight allowed extremist content to flourish undetected on the platform. Facebook spokeswoman Amrit Ahuja said the company was committed to hiring more Sinhala speakers. Ahuja said Facebook was working with civil society organisations to familiarise its staff with Sinhala slurs and racist epithets.

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