Facebook: Ban the Myanmar Military

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook

Tell Facebook to Ban the Myanmar Military

Facebook has a long and ugly history of allowing the Myanmar military to use Facebook to spread hate speech, recruit soldiers, and build its lucrative business empire.

On February 25, 2021, Facebook finally announced that it would remove all remaining Myanmar military and military-controlled pages from its site and from Instagram. The Myanmar military's profits from its business empire help fund the Burmese army's march towards its genocide of the Rohingya and its atrocities against the Chin, Kachin, Shan, Karen, and other ethnic minorities in Myanmar. And Facebook still lets the military use its platforms to promote its companies and products.

The Guardian (UK) reported that, in the months before the Burmese army's offensive against the Rohingya in August 2017, posts on Facebook became “more organised and odious, and more militarised.” The United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, said that Facebook “substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict” in Burma.

At present, the Myanmar military is on trial at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on charges of genocide. In June 2020, lawyers bringing the ICJ case asked a U.S. district court to order Facebook to release posts and communications of Myanmar military and police. Facebook refused to release the Myanmar military's posts even though they are key evidence in the genocide case.

Together, let's demand an end to the Myanmar military using Facebook to spread hate speech, recruit soldiers, and build its lucrative business empire.

More Information:

"Hate speech in Myanmar continues to thrive on Facebook" AP, Sam McNeil and Victoria Milko, 18 November 2021

"Social media in Myanmar after the coup: Familiar currents in uncharted waters," Myanmar Social Media Insights Project, September 2021

''Facebook has continued to fail Myanmar. Now its people have to pay the price.," Media Matters, Rhea Bhatnagar, 25 February 2021

"Time for Facebook to kick Burma military off Facebook," Burma Campaign UK, 16 February 2021

"Facebook rejects request to release Myanmar officials’ data for genocide case," Reuters, Poppy McPherson, 6 August 2020

"Groups In Myanmar Fire Back at Zuckerberg," New York Times, April 5th, 2018

Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg from Burmese civil society groups

"Zuckerberg Was Called Out Over Myanmar Violence. Here's His Response," New York Times, April 9th, 2018

To: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook
From: [Your Name]

The Myanmar military have used Facebook to incite hatred and violence against ethnic and religious minorities, recruit soldiers, and promote their companies.

Facebook has allowed the military to recruit for and fund military coups and genocide.

Facebook has even taken money from the Myanmar military to promote the products which help pay for their criminal activities.

Facebook kicked Donald Trump off Facebook for inciting violence and a coup.

The Myanmar military have held a coup, and are accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by United Nations Investigators, yet still they are allowed to use Facebook to conduct their business.

We the undersigned call on Facebook to immediately and completely ban the military from Facebook. They are engaged in organized violence and criminal activity. Facebook should not be helping the Myanmar military to engage in their criminal activities.

Unlike the military's own Facebook Pages, government run Facebook Pages can carry important information for the public, including relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are not calling for all government Pages to be taken down. These pages should be closely monitored for misinformation, hate speech, and incitement of violence.