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Facebook limits content shared by Myanmar military to stop the spread of 'misinformation'

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Prisoners, soon to be released marking the 74th anniversary of Myanmar's Union Day, wait for processing at the Insein prison in Yangon, Myanmar Friday, Feb. 12, 2021.
Prisoners, soon to be released marking the 74th anniversary of Myanmar's Union Day, wait for processing at the Insein prison in Yangon, Myanmar Friday, Feb. 12, 2021.   -   Copyright  STR/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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Facebook has announced they are limiting content posted by the Myanmar military, in the wake of the coup that overturned the elected government earlier in the month.

In a post, Facebook said they have taken multiple steps to reduce the reach of some military accounts to stop the 'spread of misinformation'.

They also called the ongoing situation in Myanmar an "emergency".

Myanmar's military staged a coup on February 1st in the Southeast Asian country and arrested de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior politicians.

They were detained on the grounds of claims of widespread voter fraud and foreign interference in last November's election, triggering global condemnation.

Facebook has pledged to reduce the distribution of all content on Facebook pages and profiles run by the Myanmar Military “Tatmadaw”, as well as accounts linked to the armed forces spokesperson Brigadier-General Zaw Min Tun.

The social media company also said they will protect content, including political speech, that allows the people of Myanmar to express themselves and to show the world what is transpiring within the country.

They have also suspended the ability for Myanmar government agencies to send content removal requests to Facebook through normal channels reserved for authorities around the world.

"These efforts build on our work since 2018 to keep people safe and reduce the risk of political violence in Myanmar," Facebook said in a statement.

Myanmar has experienced nationwide internet blackouts as a wave of anti-military protests gripped the country, according to NetBlocks.

Protests continued for a second week, demanding that power be restored to Suu Kyi’s deposed civilian government, despite security forces ratcheting up their use of force against them.

Facebook are the latest to join governments, the UN and people around the world in calling for internet services in Myanmar to be restored immediately, so that people can communicate and express their political views, access important information and run their businesses.