Facebook removes more accounts spreading military propaganda in Myanmar

  • Facebook on Monday said it removed 13 pages and 10 accounts that were used to spread military propaganda in Myanmar.
  • The removals are the latest in an ongoing effort by Facebook to fight the spread of misinformation on its social network.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg
Matt McClain | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook said it removed numerous pages and accounts linked to the Myanmar military that were being used to spread propaganda to approximately 1.35 million people, the company's latest effort to crack down on the spread of misinformation across its network.

"We want to make it more difficult for people to manipulate our platform in Myanmar and will continue to investigate and take action on this behavior," Facebook said in a blog post on Monday. The company said it removed 13 pages and 10 accounts that were "engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook in Myanmar."

Facebook has been plagued by abusive activity over the last couple of years, as groups exploit the social network to spread propaganda, abusive content and false information, often in an effort to influence elections or stir up hate between different cultural groups.

In Myanmar, Facebook was used as part of a campaign that targeted the country's Muslim Rohingya minority group, according to a report Monday by the New York Times, which cites unnamed "former military officials, researchers and civilian officials in the country." The campaign included the creation of Facebook accounts and entertainment, beauty and informational pages that were used to push incendiary comments and posts.

Facebook announced in August that it wanted to prevent organizations and individuals in Myanmar from using its services to commit or enable serious human rights abuses in the country. At the time, the company said it was removing 18 Facebook accounts, 52 pages and one Instagram account that reached nearly 12 million people.

Beyond Myanmar, the company has been busy removing pages and accounts that abuse its community guidelines and policies. Last week, for example, Facebook said it had taken down 559 pages and 251 accounts that were being used to spam users with clickbait posts.

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