Jakarta: Facebook is banning the remaining Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) and military-controlled state and media entities from Facebook and Instagram, as well as ads from military-linked commercial entities.
"We're continuing to treat the situation in Myanmar as an emergency and we remain focused on the safety of our community, and the people of Myanmar more broadly," said Rafael Frankel, Facebook's Director of Policy for APAC Emergning Countries, in a memo on Wednesday.
According to Frankel, Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban.
"We believe the risks of allowing the Tatmadaw on Facebook and Instagram are too great," he stated.
"We're also prohibiting Tatmadaw-linked commercial entities from advertising on the platform. We are using the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar’s 2019 report, on the economic interests of the Tatmadaw, as the basis to guide these efforts, along with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These bans will remain in effect indefinitely," he added.
According to him, the ban is based on four guiding factors, including the Tatmadaw’s history of exceptionally severe human rights abuses and the clear risk of future military-initiated violence in Myanmar
This action builds on the steps Facebook has taken in recent years to prevent the Tatmadaw from abusing our platform.
Among these are: banning 20 military-linked individuals and organisations in 2018, including Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, for their role in severe human rights violations; and removing at least six Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior networks run by the Tatmadaw from 2018 to 2020.
Since the coup, Facebok has disabled the Tatmadaw True News Information Team Page, and MRTV and MRTV Live Pages for continuing to violate our policies which prohibit coordinating harm and incitement to violence.
It has also reduced the distribution of content on at least 23 pages and profiles controlled and/or operated by the Tatmadaw so fewer people see them.
This ban does not cover government ministries and agencies engaged in the provision of essential public services. This includes the Ministry of Health and Sport, and the Ministry of Education.
"We are continuing to monitor the situation and will take additional measures if necessary to keep people safe," he said.