Today marks the start of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s much-anticipated trip to Washington as he attends a hearing with the Senate, before moving on to a Congressional hearing tomorrow. Away from the U.S. political capital, Zuckerberg is engaged in serious discussions about Myanmar with a group of six civil society organizations in the country who took umbrage at his claim that Facebook’s systems had prevented messages aimed at inciting violence between Buddhists and Muslims last September. Following an open letter to Facebook on Friday that claimed the social network had relied on local sources and remains ill-equipped to handle hate speech, Zuckerberg himself stepped in to personally respond. “Thank you for writing it and I apologize for not being sufficiently clear about the important role that your organizations play in helping us understand and respond to Myanmar-related issues, including the September incident you referred to,” Zuckerberg wrote. “In making my remarks, my intention was to highlight how we’re building artificial intelligence to help us better identify abusive, hateful or false content even before it is flagged by our community,” he added. Zuckerberg also claimed Facebook is working to implement new features that include the option to report inappropriate content inside Messenger, and adding more Burmese language reviewers — two suggestions that the Myanmar-based group had raised. The group has, however, fired back again to criticize Zuckerberg’s response which it said is “nowhere near enough to ensure that Myanmar users are provided with the same standards of care as users in the U.S. or Europe.” Young men browse their Facebook wall on their smartphones as they sit in a street in Yangon on August 20, 2015. Facebook remains the dominant social network for US Internet users, while Twitter has failed to keep apace with rivals like Instagram and Pinterest, a study showed. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images) In particular, the six companies are asking Facebook and Zuckerberg to give information around its efforts, including the number of abuse reports it has received, how many have been removed, how quickly it has been done, and its progress on banning accounts. In addition, the group asked for clarity on the number of Burmese content reviewers on staff, the exact mechanisms that are in place for detecting hate speech, and an update on what action Facebook has taken following its last meeting with the group in December. “When things go wrong…

Source: TechCrunch – Social Facebook is again criticized for failing to prevent religious conflict in Myanmar