Meta removes Myanmar military businesses from its Facebook following lawsuit

Myanmar military junta chief Min Aung Hlaing yesterday woke up to see his partly-owned telecom company Mytel being removed from Facebook as Meta started to ban businesses related to Tatmadaw, also known as the military, from functioning on its platform.

The move came just hours after lawyers from the US and the UK launched a $150 billion lawsuit on behalf of Rohingya refugees, alleging that the social media network was used to foment violence against the minority population.

Rights groups and UN investigators have been calling out Meta, formerly known as Facebook, to take down Myanmar military-associated businesses from advertising on its platform, which is a go-to social media that cannot be ignored in the Southeast Asian country, since February.

More than 730,000 Rohingya people have fled Rakhine State since August 2017 due to military-led mass executions, gang rapes, and arson as part of a genocidal campaign.

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A Facebook employee told local media outlet Myanmar Now that the firm has taken action against “hundreds” of additional accounts and pages tied to military-controlled enterprises, including Mytel.

Meta’s Pacific head of public policy for developing nations in the Asia-Pacific, Rafael Frankel, said…

“This action is based on considerable proof by the international community and civil society of these corporations’ direct participation in supporting the Tatmadaw.”

The Facebook page of the military-run beverage business Myanmar Beer was also taken down, but several of his smaller telecom accounts, such as the company’s customer service page, remained active. But they would be removed as soon as possible, a Facebook official added.

Facebook has been accused of playing a crucial role in propagating hate speech that fueled the violence in the Rohingya crisis in 2018.

SOURCE: Myanmar Now

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