The Tatmadaw is another name of the Myanmar Military and its true news page was not available on Sunday. Two protesters were killed by the police on Saturday when they demonstrated against the overthrow of the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Following the use of violence against the two pro-democracy protesters, Facebook removed the main page of the Military.
Major Reason Behind the Removal of the Page
After getting criticized many times, in the current years, Facebook has removed several military-linked pages as according to many people, the page had published coordinated posts criticizing Suu Kyi as well as many journalists and activists. A Facebook representative said in a statement, “In line with our global policies, we have removed the Military’s Main page from Facebook for repeated violations of our Community Standards prohibiting incitement of violence and coordinating harm.”
Facebook’s Involvement with the Civil Rights Activists
After coming under heavy international criticism for failing to contain online hate campaigns, in recent years, Facebook has engaged with civil rights activists in Myanmar and pushed back against the military. A civil rights expert said,” Many in the Civil rights community have become disheartened, frustrated and angry after years of engagement where they implored the company to do more to advance quality and fight discrimination while also safeguarding free expression.”
Is A Ban on Facebook a “Ban on the Internet”?
Regularly Suu Kyi’s government announced major initiatives on its Facebook pages. ZawHtunLat, a human rights advocate said, “A ban on Facebook is like a ban on the internet.” Maybe, Facebook is using artificial intelligence to restrict content likely to break the rules on hate speech and incitement of violence and treating Myanmar as an emergency. Actually, in Myanmar, Facebook plays an outsized role, however, for many residents, it is synonymous with the internet. Facebook’s struggles in handling misinformation and hate speech date back a long time on its platform. Many have argued with the company’s policies and inaction has contributed to the genocide against the Rohingya people in Myanmar. After an army crackdown in 2017, around 750,000 Rohingya Muslim minority fled into neighboring Bangladesh and Facebook allowed the platform to be used by the Military to fan a campaign of violence towards them.
TPT Policy Advocacy & Recommendations
- It has happened many times that Facebook has sown the seeds for genocidal violence. It has become a disaster for the world, a powerful vector for vicious attacks. Serious investigations must be done by the digital experts to probe into the matter well and find necessary solutions for this.
- Facebook is playing the role of a ‘doomsday machine’. Chaos and destabilization follow wherever Facebook goes. In the name of speech and democracy, it is spreading hatred and violence. If it continues like this, then the day is not far that the whole world would be shattered in a second.