World

Facebook page of ‘Buddhist Bin Laden’ removed

YANGON: Facebook has removed the page of a Myanmar monk once dubbed Buddhist Bin Laden for his incendiary posts about Muslims, the company confirmed, as it faces pressure to clamp down on hate speech.

Wirathu, a prominent face of Myanmar's Buddhist ultra-nationalist movement, had amassed hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook, using it as a platform to attack Muslims, singling out the Rohingya.

A Facebook spokesman said on Monday that Wirathu's page had been removed.

"Our community standards prohibit organisations and people dedicated to promoting hatred and violence against others," he said.

"If a person consistently shares content promoting hate, we may take a range of actions such as temporarily suspending their ability to post and ultimately, removal of their account."

The page was taken down in late January.

Wirathu could not be reached for comment, but he said in a video last year that his account had been temporarily banned for 30 days because "Facebook is occupied by the Muslims".

Hardline monks such as Wirathu have taken to Facebook, gaining notoriety for fanning anti-Muslim hatred.

Wirathu's tirades have been blamed for stoking sectarian violence, which has plagued Myanmar's transition to democracy. - AFP

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