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Facebook shuts down Myanmar military’s homepage for ‘incitement to violence’

Anti-coup protesters gather today outside Haidan Center in Yangon. (AP photo)

BANGKOK: A Facebook page run by the “True News” information service of Myanmar’s junta was launched on Sunday after the tech giant accused it of inciting violence.

The country’s security forces have steadily increased violence against a widespread and largely peaceful civil disobedience campaign demanding the return of ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Nobel Prize winner was detained with her top political allies at the start of the month, but the new regime insisted that he take power legally.

He used Facebook to claim that Suu Ky’s landslide election victory last November was marred by voter fraud and issuing stark warnings to the protest movement. Which demands the army to give up power.

A spokesperson for the platform said that the Tatmadaw True News information team page had been removed due to “repeated violations of our community standards prohibiting incitement to violence and coordinating harm.”

The social media giant has blocked hundreds of pages related to the military in recent years after it was criticized for its ineffective response to malicious posts in the country.

Much of the content targeted the country’s stateless Muslim Rohingya minority, with some 750,000 of them fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh after an army crackdown in 2017.

Junta Chairman Min Aung Hleng and other senior military leaders were expelled from the stage a year later, after a United Nations investigation recommended that they face a genocide trial over the violence.

The platform also banned rebel groups fighting the army on the country’s borders and a militant group of Buddhist monks accused of inciting violence against Muslims.

A sensation has erupted in Myanmar since the ouster of Suki on February 1, with large street demonstrations in major cities and isolated villages alike.

On Saturday, two people were killed after security forces shot a crowd in the central city of Mandalay.

The military council also imposed a nighttime internet shutdown and banned social media platforms, including Facebook, in an attempt to stop the protest campaign.

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