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Facebook limits message sharing in Sri Lanka over hate speech

The social media platform, Facebook is to limit message sharing in Sri Lanka in an effort to curb hate speech. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) will also be used to identify posts in Sinhalese which are inflammatory, Facebook said. 

"We’re making fundamental changes to our products to address virality and reduce the spread of content that can amplify and exacerbate violence and conflict," Product Management, Civic Integrity Director Samidh Chakrabarti and Strategic Response Director Rosa Birch said in a statement.
 
"In Sri Lanka, we have explored adding friction to message forwarding so that people can only share a message with a certain number of chat threads on Facebook Messenger," they added. 

"Hate speech isn’t allowed under our Community Standards. As we shared last year, removing this content requires supplementing user reports with AI that can proactively flag potentially violating posts."
 
"We’re continuing to improve our detection in local languages such as Arabic, Burmese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Bengali and Sinhalese."

Message sharing will be limited to a maximum of five people. 

The decision follows widespread anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday bombings by Islamist extremists. 

Sinhala mobs which included Buddhist monks and members of the military destroyed Muslim homes, businesses and mosques across the island.