Facebook Bans Myanmar Military After Coup

Facebook Bans Myanmar Military ‘With Immediate Effect’ Following Coup

Facebook Bans Myanmar Military After Coup

Facebook has banned the Myanmar military from its platform, as well as Instagram, “with immediate effect.”

In a press release shared Wednesday night, a rep for the Mark Zuckerberg-fronted social media service said the ban includes the remaining Myanmar military (known as the Tatmadaw) and military-controlled state and media entities. Additionally, ads from military-linked commercial entities are also now banned. 

“We’re continuing to treat the situation in Myanmar as an emergency and we remain focused on the safety of our community, and the people of Myanmar more broadly,” the FB rep said.

“Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban. We believe the risks of allowing the Tatmadaw on Facebook and Instagram are too great.”

The bans will remain in effect indefinitely and are the result of what the FB rep outlined as four guiding factors: the military’s history of “severe human rights abuses,” their history of on-platform behavior violations, content that violates policies on incitement, and coordinating harm, and concerns that threats made online could lead to offline harm post-coup.

Government ministries and agencies involved with essential public services, including the Ministry of Health and Sport and the Ministry of Education, are not affected by the bans.

When news of the coup in Myanmar (also known as Burma) first broke late last month, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki shared a statement confirming President Biden had been briefed by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. 

The United States is alarmed by reports that the Burmese military has taken steps to undermine the country’s democratic transition, including the arrest of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian officials in Burma, Psaki said at the time.