Senator Cantwell Calls on Social Media Companies to Confront Hate, Better Protect Minority Rights

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) called on social media companies to confront hate and better protect minority rights and vulnerable communities on their platforms:

"We cannot let social media platforms be hijacked and abused by foreign bad actors in our country or anywhere else in the world. Facebook and other technology companies must find the means to address these problems head on and invest in solutions.

The international community needs to better protect minority rights and vulnerable people like the Rohingya. I encourage the Senate to quickly pass the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act of 2017 to help bring an end to the violence against the Rohingya."

Senator Cantwell’s statement comes after Facebook recently announced it would boost its effort to try to combat hate speech against the Rohingya in Myanmar, in light of a Reuters report that found more than 1,000 examples of content published on Facebook attacking the Rohingya and other Muslims in Myanmar.

Senator Cantwell has cosponsored bipartisan legislation, the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act of 2017, introduced by U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) to address the ongoing targeting of the Rohingya and other Muslim people in Myanmar. The bill would prohibit certain military cooperation with the Burmese military until the Departments of State and Defense can certify that officials have halted the violence. The bill would also support economic and security sector reform, and encourage Burma’s successful transition of power to a civilian government.