March 3, 2021


Facebook banning Myanmar Military from multiple social platforms. Additionally, the Myanmar military will be excluded from Instagram because Facebook also owns that platform.

Myanmar is a country in Asia that Bangladesh and India border. This news has made many people question why Facebook cares about Myanmar, but the social media giant has a massive stake in the country.

Why Did Facebook Make this Decision?

On February 1, a military coup seized power in Myanmar because they believed that the November 8, 2020 election was fraudulent. Aung San Suu Kyi of the National League for Democracy swept the country’s election, but the coup did not accept these results.

The military coup removed the elected leaders in February and jailed leaders who resisted their authority. After the coup took power, they banned access to Facebook. The city residents were utilizing the social platform to share protest information to take down the military coup.

Facebook has a massive presence in Myanmar, so when the political turmoil began, the company had to intervene.

Facebook in Myanmar

Myanmar was a country with limited connectivity to the world for a long time. The International Telecommunication Union revealed that in 2012, less than 5% of the country had internet accessibility.

In 2013, the internet became more accessible because a civilian government deregulated the telecommunication industry, causing the technological prices to drop. Facebook saw this as an opportunity to target a new audience of social media users.

Facebook became the unofficial social media platform of Myanmar. The government used the site to make announcements to the public and stores advertised on Facebook.

The growth from 2012 to 2020 was extensive regarding internet usage. In January 2020, over 40% of people in Myanmar were using Facebook.

Facebook Takes a Stance

This social media platform was forced into this decision from outside sources. The United Nations and other human rights groups expressed their stances to Facebook on the ongoing coup situation in Myanmar.

These organizations have criticized Facebook for not doing enough to stop the crime in the country. Facebook had already banned 20 Myanmar military leaders and pages in 2018 after riots ensued in the country.

Following the coups’ takeover, Facebook stated that they are reducing Myanmar military content on their site. They are also going to be much more stringent on hate speech that violates the platform’s policies. The company’s lack of attention to Myanmar users has been the main criticism, so this is a good move by Facebook.

Facebook is banning all remaining Myanmar military pages and leaders from this site as well as Instagram. Facebook believes that the military will attempt to regain power on the site, but the company will stay focused on preventing this from happening.

Without Facebook, the Myanmar military coup will have a more challenging time maintaining power in the country because of the site’s value.

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