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Facebook removes Myanmar's army page for incitement of violence

Two people were killed in Myanmar's second city Mandalay on Saturday when police and soldiers fired at protesters demonstrating against the overthrow of the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | February 22, 2021 | Updated 17:04 IST
(Picture: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Facebook on Sunday deleted the main page of the Myanmar military or the Tatmadaw True News Information Team Page.
  • The move comes after two protesters were killed when police opened fire at a demonstration against the February 1 coup.
  • Facebook has been criticised in the past for its inaction in the violence against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.

Facebook on Sunday deleted the main page of the Myanmar military. The move comes after two protesters were killed when police opened fire at a demonstration against the February 1 coup. Facebook noted that the army violated its standards prohibiting the incitement of violence. Two people were killed in Myanmar's second city Mandalay on Saturday when police and soldiers fired at protesters demonstrating against the overthrow of the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, a report cited emergency workers.

"In line with our global policies, we've removed the Tatmadaw True News Information Team Page from Facebook for repeated violations of our Community Standards prohibiting incitement of violence and coordinating harm," a Facebook representative told Reuters.

Earlier this month, Myanmar's new military government passed a directive to the country's telecom companies asking them to temporarily block Facebook from the country to maintain stability. Facebook is popular in Myanmar and the ousted government had commonly made public announcements on the social media site. As per reports, half of Myanmar's 53 million people use Facebook.

Facebook in recent years has engaged with civil rights activists and democratic political parties in Myanmar and pushed back against the military after coming under heavy international criticism for failing to contain online hate campaigns.

In 2018, Facebook banned army chief Min Aung Hlaing who is now the military ruler - and 19 other senior officers and organisations, and took down hundreds of pages and accounts run by military members for "coordinated inauthentic behaviour." Ahead of the November elections, Facebook announced it had taken down a network of 70 fake accounts and pages operated by members of the military that had posted either positive content about the army or criticism of Suu Kyi and her party.

Facebook has been criticised in the past for its inaction in the violence against the Rohingyas in Myanmar. It also came under repeated attacks for its inability to effectively contain hate messages shared through its website in Myanmar. The situation has been deemed so bad that even the United Nations cited Facebook for not doing enough to stop the abuse of its platform in Myanmar.

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