The social media giant Facebook announced on Thursday that after the army seized power on February 1, it would ban all accounts related to the Myanmar military and advertisements from military-controlled companies.
It said in a statement that it regarded the situation after the coup in Myanmar as an “emergency” and explained that the ban was caused by events since the coup, including “fatal violence.”
Since the coup, Facebook has banned several military-related accounts, including the military-controlled Myawaddy TV station and the national TV station MRTV.
The ban also applies to Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
Facebook and other social media platforms were severely criticized in 2017, when right-wing organizations stated that they did not take enough action to stop hate speech against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
The army launched a brutal counterinsurgency operation that year, which drove more than 700,000 Rohingya to seek safety in neighboring Bangladesh, and they remained in the refugee camps. Myanmar security forces burned down villages, killed civilians, and carried out mass rapes during their election campaigns, which are being investigated by the World Court of Justice as a crime of genocide.
Facebook banned the accounts of several Myanmar military leaders in 2018, including senior general Min Aung Aung Lai, who led this month’s coup to oust Aung San Suu Kyi and her democratically elected government of the National League for Democracy Party. The general leads the military government that now serves as the government,
The military government tried to block Facebook and other social media platforms, but its efforts proved ineffective. For more than a week, it has also shut down Internet access from 1 am (12 am US Standard Time) every day.
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