Police advance with heavy building tools in direction of protesters demonstrating towards the army coup in Yangon on February 22, 2021. Ye Aung THU / AFP
Facebook mentioned it has banned all remaining accounts linked to the Myanmar army on Thursday, citing the junta’s use of lethal power towards anti-coup demonstrators.
The transfer, which takes impact instantly, applies to the army and entities managed by the armed forces on each Facebook and Instagram.
It additionally bans “military-linked commercial entities” from promoting on the platforms.
“Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban,” the social media large mentioned in a press release.
“We believe the risks of allowing the Tatmadaw on Facebook and Instagram are too great,” it added, utilizing the Myanmar identify for the nation’s armed forces.
The junta has steadily elevated its use of power towards a large and largely peaceable civil disobedience marketing campaign demanding Myanmar’s military leaders relinquish energy.
Three anti-coup protesters have been killed in demonstrations, whereas a person patrolling his Yangon neighbourhood towards night time arrests was additionally shot lifeless.
Facebook mentioned its ban was meant to stop Myanmar’s generals “from abusing our platform”.
The army has used Facebook to spice up its claims that voter fraud marred an election final November after ousted civilian chief Aung San Suu Kyi’s celebration received in a landslide.
Since seizing energy, the junta has arrested lots of of anti-coup protesters, ordered nightly web blackouts and banned social media platforms — together with Facebook — in an effort to quell resistance.
Thursday’s announcement follows Facebook’s earlier choice to kick off a web page run by the regime’s “True News” data service after the tech large accused it of inciting violence.
Pages for presidency places of work now run by the junta stay unaffected.
“This ban does not cover government ministries and agencies engaged in the provision of essential public services,” the corporate mentioned. “This includes the Ministry of Health and Sport, and the Ministry of Education.”
In current years, lots of of army-linked pages have been blocked by Facebook after the social media large got here below heavy criticism for its ineffective response to malicious posts within the nation.
Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing and different high brass have been booted from the platform in 2018, a yr after a military-led crackdown pressured round 750,000 members of the Rohingya Muslim group to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh.
Facebook admitted that yr it had didn’t do sufficient to stop the incitement of violence in Myanmar.
“We can and should do more,” Facebook govt Alex Warofka mentioned on the time.