Facebook has banned 20 military officials from Myanmar for spreading hate and misinformation about the ethnic violence in Myanmar. They have also removed a total of 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account, and 52 Facebook Pages.
This action was a result of a report conducted by the UN Human Rights Council-authorized Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar. They found evidence of many organizations and individuals committing or assisting in serious human rights abuses in the country. Following this, Facebook banned these individuals to prevent further inflammation of ethnic and religious tensions. The 20 military officials and organizations removed include Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the military’s Myawady television network.
They have removed six pages and six accounts from Facebook and one account from Instagram connected to these individuals and organizations. The rest don’t have a Facebook or Instagram presence but are banned nevertheless.
Facebook has also removed 46 Pages and 12 accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior. These pages used independent news and opinion pages to secretly push the messages of the Myanmar military.
Earlier this year, Facebook created a dedicated team across product, engineering, and policy to work on issues specific to Myanmar. They use sophisticated artificial intelligence to proactively flag posts that break Facebook policies. In the second quarter of 2018, these algorithms identified about 52% of the content that Facebook removed for hate speech in Myanmar.
They also updated their credible violence policies to deal with misinformation that may contribute to imminent violence or physical harm. They are also improving Facebook reporting tools and introducing new tools on the Messenger mobile app for people to report conversations that violate Community Standards.
Read the entire report on this decision on the Facebook newsroom.