Facebook bans Myanmar’s military accounts after deadly coup

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Facebook said it had banned Myanmar’s military from its platforms, leaving little question that the company was openly siding with the country’s pro-democracy movement against the figures who abruptly seized power on Feb. 1, ousting the civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Facebook acted after years of criticism over how Myanmar’s military has used the site, including to incite hatred against the country’s Muslim Rohingya minority group.

Since seizing power, the military has repeatedly shut off the internet and cut access to major social media sites, including Facebook. But generals still used Facebook to distribute propaganda, and military-owned businesses advertised on the platform as well. Neither will now be allowed, which could undercut the military’s extensive, opaque network of business holdings.

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook’s chief executive has long championed freedom of speech above all else, positioning the site as merely a platform and technology service that would not get involved in governmental or social disputes. That stance has been the focus of intense criticism in many parts of the world, and Mr. Zuckerberg has become increasingly willing to act against what is posted on his platform.

Last year, Facebook cracked down on pages and posts about the QAnon conspiracy theory movement, and after the riot at the U.S. Capitol last month, Facebook barred Donald Trump from using the service for the remainder of his presidency. His access has not been restored.

Source: The New York Times

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