Myanmar Military Accounts Banned by Facebook For Human Rights Abuse

By Nitish Singh / August 27, 2018

Myanmar is suffering from ethnic violence, and religious tension and the country’s military is responsible for spreading hoaxes and misinformation via Facebook according to the United Nations. Multiple military accounts, as well as the local Myawady local news network, were found guilty of inflaming citizens against the Rohingya population.

Content Guidelines Violation by Myanmar Officials

Image Courtesy of Facebook

18 Facebook accounts and 52 Facebook pages were reported by the UN, and they have been removed. Facebook admitted that they have been slow in acting against fake news. In an attempt to curb content that may lead to human rights abuse in Myanmar, the social media company has hired Burmese-speaking moderators to monitor social activity. However, the company has not deployed any official staff in the country. Facebook had previously blamed users from Myanmar for not using the reporting feature. However, the reporting tools started supporting Burmese translation only from spring this year.

Facebook released an official statement about the removal of the accounts. The company stated “During a recent investigation, we discovered that they used seemingly independent news and opinion Pages to covertly push the messages of the Myanmar military. This type of behavior is banned on Facebook because we want people to be able to trust the connections they make.”

The Rohingya population in Myanmar is a minority Muslim demographic that is targeted via a genocidal campaign led by the military. The investigators from the United Nations believe that the military is responsible for inflicting crimes such as gang rapes, destruction of villages and mass killings as part of hatred towards the minority group. Almost 12 million people follow the accounts and pages owned by the military and news channels that are responsible for misinformation and political propaganda.

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