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2 Feb 2021

Newly Purnell, Wall Street Journal

Myanmar: Facebook removes national military TV network’s page following the attempted coup, leaves announcements page operational

Facebook banned a Myanmar military television network page following Monday’s coup, the social media giant’s latest move in a country where its platform has been connected in previous years to physical violence.

A page for the television network has since at least early last year posted photos that publicize efforts of the nation’s military, drawing likes from more than 33,000 people, before it was removed late Monday. Facebook first removed the Myawaddy television network from its platform in 2018 as part of a crackdown on hundreds of pages, groups and accounts—some tied to Myanmar’s military—that it said had abused its services, but a page promoting the station later reappeared.

... A spokesman for the military didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the page’s removal. A separate Facebook page for announcements from the military wasn’t banned in 2018 and remains operational.

... Facebook is “closely monitoring political events in Myanmar as they unfold” and is taking steps to “stop misinformation and content that could incite further tensions,” Rafael Frankel, a Facebook public policy director, said. The company is also removing misinformation that delegitimizes the outcome of November’s election, Mr. Frankel said. Facebook is also eliminating content that praises and supports the coup, content that incites or encourages violence, and calls to bring weapons to locations across Myanmar. Ms. Suu Kyi’s party won the November contest by a landslide.