SINGAPORE: Myanmar military has been banned from using Facebook and Instagram platforms with immediate effect, informed Facebook on Thursday, as weeks of mass demonstrations continue in the Southeast Asian country after the military took over power.
“Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban,” Facebook said in a blog post. “We believe the risks of allowing the Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) on Facebook and Instagram are too great.”
The tech giant said it would also ban all “Tadmadaw-related commercial entities” from advertising on its platforms.
The decision to ban the Myanmar army came due to “exceptionally severe human rights abuses and the clear risk of future military-initiated violence in Myanmar”, as well as the army’s repeated history of violating Facebook’s rules, the company said.
The platform said on Thursday there had been attempts to rebuild army-run networks it had previously removed.
In 2018, it banned army chief Min Aung Hlaing – 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.
Facbook is widely used in Myanmar and has been one of the ways the junta has communicated with people, despite an official move to ban on the platform in the early days of the coup.
Ahead of 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.