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Myanmar: Facebook to limit military-controlled pages over misinformation

The company has also "indefinitely suspended" the Myanmar government agencies from using special channels reserved for officials to send requests to Facebook to remove content

Facebook | Myanmar | coup

ANI  Asia 

Myanmar coup
Demonstrators hold up images of Aung San Suu Kyi during a protest outside the Embassy of Myanmar in Bangkok.

on Friday decided to reduce pages controlled by the military (Tatmadaw) on grounds of spreading misinformation, reported Times.

said that it will remove misinformation claiming that there was widespread fraud or foreign interference in the 2020 elections.

"We are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation in Myanmar, and are in close communication with governments, institutions and non-governmental organisations that care deeply about Myanmar's future," said .

The social media giant on February 12 released a detailed statement regarding the actions undertaken to protect free speech in and limit pages and accounts controlled by the Tatmadaw.

For Myanmar citizens, Facebook is the main source of news and a platform to communicate. As such, the company is "treating the situation in Myanmar as an emergency," it said in the statement.

"Key among [the measures] is the decision to significantly reduce the distribution of all content on Facebook pages and profiles run by the Tatmadaw that has continued to spread misinformation," it said.

Facebook further said that it will no longer recommend military-run pages including its main pages to communicate such as the Tatmadaw Information Team and Tatmadaw spokesperson Brigadier-General Zaw Min Tun's pages, reported Myanmar Times.

It has also indefinitely suspended the ability of Myanmar government agencies to send content removal requests to the company through their normal channels reserved for authorities around the world.

Moreover, the social media giant will continue enforcing policies on Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior, which combats influence operations when it finds networks it previously removed attempting to re-establish a presence on Facebook, reported Myanmar Times.

The social media giant also asserted that extra protection will be provided to journalists, civil society activists, human rights defenders, and deposed political leaders from online threats and unauthorised access to their accounts.

This move will have a far-reaching effect on the pace of the anti- movement as the use of social media and other technologies by Generation Z have bewildered the military. They have outmaneuvered and exposed the old-fashioned coup-makers who used to suppress the earlier pro-democracy protests with the use of force.

On February 1, Myanmar's military staged a and overthrew the democratically elected government of the National League for Democracy (NLD), alleging voter fraud in the November 2020 elections that saw the NLD securing a resounding victory.

The military detained several political officials and activists including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, and declared a one-year emergency.

Despite military repression, widespread protests continue across Myanmar, including Yangon and other key cities.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sun, February 14 2021. 13:11 IST