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Facebook Reducing Distribution of Myanmar Military Content over 'Continued Misinformation'

Myanmar's military personnel stand guard at a checkpoint manned with armored vehicles blocking a road leading to the parliament building Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. (AP/PTI)

Myanmar's military personnel stand guard at a checkpoint manned with armored vehicles blocking a road leading to the parliament building Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. (AP/PTI)

Facebook said it had also suspended the ability for Myanmar government agencies to send content-removal requests to Facebook through the normal channels used by authorities across the world.

Facebook said on Friday it would reduce the distribution of all content and profiles run by Myanmar’s military, saying they have “continued to spread misinformation” after the army seized power and detained civilian leaders in a coup on Feb. 1.

The measures – which are not a ban, but are aimed at reducing the number of people who see the content – will apply to an official page run by the army and one by a spokesperson, the company said in a statement, as well as “any additional pages that the military controls that repeatedly violate our misinformation policies”.

The pages will also not appear on newsfeeds as “recommended”.

The social media giant said it had also suspended the ability for Myanmar government agencies to send content-removal requests to Facebook through the normal channels used by authorities across the world.

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“Simultaneously, we are protecting content, including political speech, that allows the people of Myanmar to express themselves and to show the world what is transpiring inside their country,” said Rafael Frankel, director of public policy, APAC emerging countries.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been protesting across Myanmar since the army overthrew the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi and detained most top leaders.

first published:February 12, 2021, 07:33 IST