Access to Facebook is now being blocked in Myanmar, by internet providers in the country, including the state-owned telco, MPT. The move comes after the Burmese military seized power from Aung San Suu Kyi and her ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).
NetBlocks, a network monitoring group, had confirmed the move by the now military-controlled government. Several days after the coup, the country’s Ministry of Communications and Information issued an official notice, stating that Facebook would be blocked until 7 February. Bear in mind, the temporary shutdown also applies to all other Facebook-owned social media and messaging apps, including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
LATEST DEVELOPMENT : New military government orders telecom companies to temporarily block Facebook as they assume the social media platform is disturbing the restoration of stability in the country. Jumping back to 2000s in three days. #myanmar pic.twitter.com/2BzUujCSfM
— Hnin Zaw (@hninyadanazaw) February 3, 2021
Myanmar is a country of 53 million people and statistically, more than half of the country’s population uses the social media platform in one form or another. In this instance, the country’s military deems the blocking necessary, as it believes Facebook to be the source of misinformation and a platform for “hate speech” in the country. A case that proved all too true for the country back in 2018, when a human rights report concluded that Facebook was used to “foment division and incite offline violence”.
Axl Tan contributed to this article.