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More Southeast Asians take anti-migrant sentiment out on facebook

More Southeast Asians take anti-migrant sentiment out on facebook

Authorities in the countries directly affected by the Southeast Asian migrant crisis are becoming increasingly concerned about anti-migrant sentiment on social media. Although the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have said they will not allow the Burmese and Bangladeshi migrants floating off their shores, there is also growing concern over some of the vitriol and anti-migrant sentiment being expressed on social media.

A spokesman for the Thai government issued a statement on May 18, saying: “Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is worried about the social media trend right now that shows that the government should not help irregular migrants in the Indian Ocean because of concerns that they will be a burden on Thailand in the long-term.”

The rise of online hate campaigns and vitriol against the migrants – most of them are believed to be Rohingya Muslims – in the region reflects an all too prevalent trend in Burma (Myanmar), where many of the migrants are fleeing from. Since Facebook was legalized there in 2011 it has become a hotbed of sectarian extremism.

Updated : 2021-09-23 22:28 GMT+08:00