Facebook: Ban the Myanmar Military

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook

Tell Facebook to Completely Ban the Myanmar Military

Facebook has a long and ugky 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. In a country where Facebook is so popular, Facebook's decision significantly deprives the military of its largest communication platform.

But, even with its recent decision, Facebook still lets the military use its platforms to promote its companies and products. 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 Kachin, Shan, Karen, and other ethnic minorities in Myanmar.

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.” Posts on Facebook included fabricated stories stating that “mosques in Yangon are stockpiling weapons in an attempt to blow up various Buddhist pagodas and Shwedagon pagoda,”, the most sacred Buddhist site in Yangon. 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 that Facebook never lets its platform to be used again for campaigns of hate speech.

More Information:

''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 Allowing Burma Military to Recruit For and Fund Genocide," Burma Campaign UK, 9 January 2021

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

"US court asked to force Facebook to release Myanmar officials' data for genocide case," Reuters, 10 June 2020

"Gambia v. Facebook," filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 8 June 2020

"Critics Warn of Deception as Myanmar Military Returns to Facebook After 2018 Purge," Radio Free Asia, 10 June 2020

"Facebook: Close Burma Military Related Facebook Pages," Burma Campaign UK, 6 June 2019

"Revealed: Facebook hate speech exploded in Myanmar during Rohingya crisis," The Guardian, April 2, 2018

"Weaponizing Social Media: The Rohingya Crisis," CBS News, February 26, 2018

"Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook's Hardest Year, and What Comes Next," Vox,... The Ezra Klein Show, March 2018

"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: Susan Banki

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.