Facebook has banned Myanmar’s military from its platform following coup

Julie Gerstein ~Business Insider*

Facebook has banned the Myanmar military from using its platforms, following a coup earlier this month.

A Myanmar protester makes the three finger salute during a demonstration against military coup in Yangon, Myanmar on February 7, 2021. Myat Thu Kyaw/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook on Wednesday announced that they would be banning Myanmar’s military from its platforms, including Instagram, following a coup d’etat in the country in early February.

Rafael Frankel, the director of policy for APAC emerging countries, wrote in a memo that Instagram and Facebook would no longer allow Myanmar’s state-controlled media pages on its platforms, nor would it allow commercial entities linked to the state to advertise on its platforms.

The platform said the decision was made in acknowledgement of the military’s “extreme human rights abuses,” as well as “on-platform content and behavior violations.”

“The coup,” Frankel wrote, “greatly increases the likelihood that online threats could lead to offline harm.”

The ban follows news earlier this month that Facebook was taking measures to significantly limit the distribution of content made by the Myanmar military.

“Since the coup, we have disabled the Tatmadaw True News Information Team Page, and MRTV and MRTV Live Pages for continuing to violate our policies which prohibit coordinating harm and incitement to violence,” Frankel wrote .

The social platform also said that it had stopped taking requests from military representatives to remove content from its pages.

Facebook has kept a watchful eye on Myanmar for the past several years after the platform was implicated in the persecution of the country’s Rohingya population.

A 2018 investigation from The New York Times found Myanmar’s military had been using Facebook “as a tool for ethnic cleansing,” and created a targeted campaign to turn public opinion against the Muslim minority.

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