The riots wouldn’t have happened without Facebook.
On the the evening of July 2, 2014 a swelling mob of hundreds of angry residents gathered around the Sun Teashop filling the streets in the commercial hub of Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city. The teashop’s Muslim owner had been accused, falsely, of raping a female Buddhist employee.
The accusations against him, originally reported on a blog, exploded when they made its way to Facebook—by then, synonymous with the internet in Myanmar. Many among the crowd had seen the Facebook post, which was widely shared including by a Mandalay-based ultra-nationalist monk named Wirathu, who has a massive following across the country.
As anger rose among the throngs of men, police struggled to disperse the growing crowds, firing rubber bullets and trying to corral rioters into certain sections of the city. Their efforts were largely unsuccessful. Soon, armed men were marauding through the streets of the royal capital on motorbikes and by foot wielding machetes and sticks. Rioters torched