A Facebook spokesperson announced that they have removed the page of Wirathu, the rabid nationalist Buddhist monk in Burma who leads the anti-Rohingya campaign, for “promoting hatred & violence against others” in violation of their community standards. FB did not do this because they object to his vituperations but to legitimize censorship on social media which they & Twitter engage in constantly on behalf of reactionary regimes. There is a group of anti-Assad activists dedicated to getting Assadists banned from FB by dogging & reporting their posts. Nothing could be more shortsighted whilst there is major & constant censorship of Rohingya, Kashmiri, Palestinian, & Syrian activists, not to mention FB cooperation with authorities in places like China, the US, & elsewhere.
There’s a disturbing irony about removing the wall of the demagogue Wirathu when those of Aung San Suu Kyi & General Min Aung Hlaing, the chief architects of the Rohingya genocide, are allowed to stand.
Censorship is never directed at the power elite but at freedom activists. Tossing in a creep like Wirathu once in a while is to legitimize censorship not unlike how the Nobel Peace Prize operates by every once in a while throwing in someone like Martin Luther King or Malala Yousafzai with all the war criminals. The best interests of the Rohingya, Palestinians, Kashmiris, Syrians, & others is served by opposing censorship. One could say without exaggeration, that it is politically reckless & naive to in any way facilitate censorship on social media. If it were not for social media, we would know very little about those freedom struggles since media imposes news blackouts on most of the important struggles going on in this world precisely to prevent the development of international solidarity. It might also be added that it is extremely important to know exactly what kind of rubbish these rightwing & fascist propagandists are spewing so they can be cogently refuted before they do any more damage to the freedom struggles than they already have.
Barring Wirathu from FB is not a substitute for bringing him to justice in an international tribunal for inciting genocide against the Rohingya people.
(Photo is Wirathu from AFP)