Myanmar’s Military Has Been Banned From Facebook And Instagram Weeks After Staging Coup

Top line

Facebook on Wednesday banned Myanmar’s military and military-controlled state and media company from its main social platform and Instagram. This is the most sweeping action the social media company has taken in the country weeks after a military junta seized power from civilian government in a coup.

During a protest against the military coup, the protester holds a sign that reads “We want our democracy” … [+] in Yangon.

SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

Key factors

Facebook will also ban commercial companies with links to the Myanmar military from advertising on its platform, the company said in a blog post.

Facebook said its decision to impose the ban was due to the military’s history of grave human rights abuses in Myanmar, both past and recent behavior on the platform and the increased risk of offline damage from online threats after the coup.

Facebook’s ban excludes ministries and agencies involved in the provision of basic public services, including Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports and the Ministry of Education.

Crucial quote

“Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have sparked the need for this ban. We believe the risk of allowing Tatmadaw on Facebook and Instagram is too great, ”wrote Rafael Frankel, Director of Policy for APAC Emerging Markets at Facebook, in the blog post.

Key background

Earlier this month, Facebook tried to limit the distribution of content from Myanmar’s military-run accounts and pages as it “continued to spread misinformation”. The military government blocked Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the country earlier this month. However, citizens have bypassed the ban on the use of proxies and virtual private networks (VPNs) and continued to use social platforms to organize protests. Myanmar citizens are protesting a military coup that was carried out earlier this month. The military says it will rule the country for a year as the last election won by the party and National League for Democracy (NLD) leader and leader Aung San Suu Kyi was fraudulent. The coup has been condemned by leaders around the world, including the Biden government, which has imposed sanctions on the country’s military leaders.

tangent

Facebook has had an eventful past in Myanmar as the platform has been used extensively by military officials to incite violence against the Rohingya community with Muslim minorities. After CEO Mark Zuckerberg was called out for Facebook’s failure to combat violent content, he apologized and promised to step up moderation in the country. In 2018, Facebook finally stepped in and banned 20 military-affiliated individuals and organizations from having committed or facilitated “serious human rights violations in the country”. Action has also been taken against reports and sites kept by die-hard Buddhist monks who had used the platform to promote Islamophobia in the country.

Section heading

Facebook bans military accounts in Myanmar after coup (New York Times)

Facebook limits the circulation of posts from the Myanmar military government (Forbes)

Comments are closed.