Myanmar Times: NRGI launches open jade data website to promote transparency. “The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has launched a new website… which is the first ever portal to publish data related to Myanmar jade. Data based on the latest figures announced under the Extractive Industries Transparency Imitative (EITI) and Myanmar Gems Enterprise will now be available on the website, NRGI said last week. It will include data on licenses, funds channeled in to the sector as well as revenues generated. “
The Irrawaddy: New Website Lets Public Track Legislation, ‘Vote’ on Bills. “I AM A BILL, a new website that tracks legislation and monitors Parliament, was officially launched on Tuesday. The site provides the full history of every piece of legislation — from the date a bill is submitted to the lawmakers who submitted it and every debate it faces until it is pulled, rejected or approved…. Peace & Justice Myanmar, a local NGO, has been developing the site since May 2017 and by August hopes to have uploaded all bills introduced since February 2016, after the NLD was voted into power.”
TechCrunch: Facebook’s Free Basics program ended quietly in Myanmar last year . “As recently as last week, Facebook was touting the growth of Free Basics, its Internet.org project designed to give users free curated web access in developing countries, but the app isn’t working out everywhere. As the Outline originally reported and TechCrunch confirmed, the Free Basics program has ended in Myanmar, perhaps Facebook’s most controversial non-Western market at the moment.”
CBS News: “Technology is like a bomb”: Social media weaponized in Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis. “The utopian dream of internet and social media pioneers — the idea that connecting millions of people in cyberspace would make the world a better place — has run into a darker reality as invisible armies of trolls, bots and propagandists use the technology to sway public opinion and poison debate. Perhaps nowhere has that impact been more malign than in Myanmar, where social media has been weaponized against the vulnerable Rohingya minority as the regime carries out what one U.N. official calls ‘a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.'”
Quartz: Is Facebook playing a part in the Rohingya genocide?. “Based on our research in Myanmar and in Cuba, we argue that internet usage in Myanmar is dangerous. Unbridled connection to Facebook creates what we call a ‘virtual coercive,’ a digital space that bolsters coercion. We suggest that Cuba’s internet model may provide lessons to manage social media amid political chaos. The utility of inventions can be unpredictable, and so too can the social impacts be catastrophic.” Remember, just because I include it in ResearchBuzz doesn’t necessarily mean I agree with it. It just means I consider it an important issue.
France24: Language of persecuted Rohingya poised to go digital. “For decades the Rohingya have been denied recognition in Myanmar but the persecuted minority is close to securing a crucial symbol of their identity — their own unique digital alphabet. The language of the stateless Muslim people has been included in the planned upgrade to the Unicode Standard, the global coding system that turns written script into digital characters and numbers.”
Washington Post: Fake news on Facebook fans the flames of hate against the Rohingya in Burma. “Burma was long closed off by a military regime, with centuries-old tensions between its Buddhist and Muslim communities leashed by strict control over traditional media.As the country transitions into democracy, those constraints have loosened and access to the Internet has expanded rapidly, most notably through a Facebook program called Free Basics that has catapulted the platform into prominence as a major source of news in Burma. But the sudden proliferation of recently available technologies has accelerated the spread of ethnic hatred in Burma, stoking tensions amid a violent military crackdown that has sent more than 600,000 Rohingya fleeing across the border into Bangladesh.”