Facebook Ban on Myanmar Military Officials Sparks Debate

The decision by Facebook to ban senior military figures from using its platform has opened a debate in the country, with some calling it an attack on freedom of expression, and others praising the social media giant for finally taking the kind of firm action that rights activists have long demanded. Last month, Facebook banned senior figures from Myanmar’s military, including army chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, after a United Nations investigation recommended that they face a trial for genocide following last year’s brutal military crackdown in Rakhine State. In a statement, Facebook said it had removed 46 pages and 12 accounts for “engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior” on the social media platform. It said it wanted to “prevent them from using our service to further inflame ethnic and religious tensions”. The announcement was made shortly after the U.N. Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar called for a genocidal probe into Min Aung Hlaing and five other army commanders following its campaign in northern Rakhine State last year, which saw an estimated 700,000 mainly Rohingya flee into Bangladesh. A Facebook spokesperson told VOA via email that an investigation was conducted independently by the company and “not in cooperation with any government or non-government organization”. “We have a responsibility to fight abuse on our products,” the company official said. “This is especially true in countries like Myanmar where many people are using the Internet for the first time, and Facebook can be used to spread hate and incite violence.” In a concession to critics who have accused the company of waiting too long to take action, the spokesperson said Facebook had been “too slow to spot” hate speech on its platform, adding that the ban was permanent. Some Internet users in Myanmar have criticized the decision, saying it prevents the military from... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Facebook Ban on Myanmar Military Officials Sparks Debate, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Facebook Ban on Myanmar Military Officials Sparks Debate





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Thursday, 6 September, 2018



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