Facebook has reportedly complied with the ban on many Myanmar organizations that have joined forces to oppose the military coup in February, by The rest of the world. The bans were introduced in 2019, when a democratically elected government classified organizations like Arakan’s army and many of its allies as terrorist organizations.
Things have changed in Myanmar since then. Following the military coup and the takeover of the Tatmadawi government (following the elections military claims were fraudulent), the political situation has become very complex. However, one thing is seemingly clear: the Arakan army is no longer classified as a terrorist organization, the current military-led governmentor elected government in exile. Still included The rest of the world, Arakan’s army is still not allowed on Facebook.
AA is not the only group that has found itself incapable of communicating through Facebook. There are apparently many ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) in the country, some of which operate have united in opposition to a coup government that has been violently against supporters of democracy. Many of their Facebook pages were also restricted in 2019 by order of the democratically elected government, which has since been overthrown.
By The rest of the world, The ban on EAOs was also controversial before the coup: some claim that it prevented the dissemination of information on human rights violations, such as genocide against Rohingya Muslims carried out by Tatmadaw. EAOs and journalists in the country are now claiming that Facebook’s bans are preventing them from showing what is happening in the fight against the current military government. The director of the Human Rights Organization said The rest of the world that the prohibitions are “like trying to close people’s eyes and ears.”
Facebook too forbidden pages related to Tatmadawi after the coup, but human rights activist Thinzar Shunlei Yi says The rest of the world that the company has still not reacted to the political changes that have taken place in Myanmar since then, and called on the company to set up a formal monitoring committee for the country.